GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY

Credits: 
8
Site: 
PARMA
Year of erogation: 
2021/2022
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
PHYSIOLOGY
Semester: 
First semester
Language of instruction: 

Italian.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The student will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding (1st Dublin descriptor) of the basic principles of Physiology. The course aims to provide students with a good understanding of:
1. Mechanisms for basic operation of the human body under physiological conditions,
2. Homeostatic mechanisms that allow adjusting and adapting the activity of organs and systems to the demands of the environment.
The student shall be able to learn the principles of Physiology (5th Dublin descriptor), apply the acquired knowledge to the human body (2nd Dublin descriptor), must be able to independently assess simple physiological problems (3rd Dublin descriptor), and be able to communicate them (4th Dublin descriptor).

Prerequisites

Knowledge of human anatomy, chemistry and physics as the lessons learned in previous courses

Course contents summary

The first part of the course covers cell physiology.
The second part of the course is devoted to the organ and system physiology.
The third part of the course is devoted to integrative physiology, with particular reference to the nervous system.
General Physiology
Biological membranes. Ion channels. Nernst equation. Membrane potential. Action potential. Conduction of potential. Synapses and neurotransmitters. Neuromodulators. Synaptic circuits.
Skeletal muscle. Contraction. Stress / length and speed / load curves.
Smooth muscle.
Heart: Cardiac action potentials. Electrocardiogram. Cardiac mechanics. Regulation of cardiac contraction. Blood pressure. Blood.
Respiratory mechanics. Compliance. Capillary exchanges. Nervous control of breathing.
Kidney. Filtration, absorption and secretion. Renal clearance.
Regulation of pH and electrolyte balance.
 GI tract: motility, secretion, digestion and absorption. Endocrinology. Neurophysiology
Sensory Systems: Vision. Hearing. Somatosensory systems. Pain perception and modulation.
Motor control. Reflexes.
Autonomic nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic.
Hypothalamus and pituitary gland

Course contents

Blood.
Heart.
Circulation and blood pressure. Smooth muscle. Lymphatic system. Special circulatory districts. Respiratory function. Kidney.
GI tract and its functions. Hormones.

Nerve cell functions. Membrane potential. Synapses. Reflexes. Sensory systems. Sleep. Homeostasis. Autonomous nervous system. Hypothalamus-hypophysis.
Skeletal muscle. Contraction. Stress / length and speed / load curves. Smooth muscle.
Heart: Cardiac action potentials. Electrocardiogram. Cardiac mechanics. Regulation of cardiac contraction. Blood pressure. Blood.
Respiratory mechanics. Compliance. Capillary exchanges. Nervous control of breathing.
Kidney. Filtration, absorption and secretion. Renal clearance.
Regulation of pH and electrolyte balance.
Gastroenteric system: motility, secretion and absorption.
Physiology the Nervous System
Functional properties of nervous cells: ionic channels, resting membrane potential and action potential. Mechanisms of synaptic transmission: neurotransmitters and receptors. Neuromuscular synapse. Spinal reflex: stretch reflex and flexor reflex. Sensory systems. Sensory transduction. Somatic system: anatomic and functional organization. Auditory function. Pain. Fundamental organization of Cerebral cortex. Somatic cortices. Fundamental concepts in visual physiology. Motor systems. Basal ganglia. The primary motor cortex. Cortical pathways to motor neurons. Neurophysiology of Sleep.Functional organization of the Autonomic nervous System. Sympathetic Division, Parasympathetic Division and the Enteric Division. Autonomic reflex. Functional organization of the Hypothalamus. Neuroendocrine System: Brain-pituitary-Organ Axes

Recommended readings

Monticelli, “Fisiologia”. CEA.
Berne-Levy, “Fisiologia”. CEA
Fisiologia Medica a cura di Fiorenzo Conti. Volume 1. Edi-Ermes editore.

Teaching methods

Lectures, during which the principles of the discipline will be exposed and the main issues will be discussed with appropriate practical examples.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam at the end of the course (30 questions True / False). The acquired knowledge on the topics covered in the lessons will be verified. Every correct answer will be scored with one point; there are penalties of one point for each for wrong answer. The minimum threshold for passing the exam is a score of 18 points, corresponding to 18/30. The results will be published on Esse3