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Clinical and Functional Neuroanatomy


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master BW and general knowledge of neuroanatomy.


Period: 22 November 2021 - 17 December 2021

The objective of this course is to introduce clinical neurology to Biomedical Sciences students and to deepen their knowledge on neuroanatomy. The course includes lectures about the peripheral and central nervous system given by different neurologists and researchers, lab days (skills lab and electrophysiology lab), outpatient clinic sessions, and several patient demonstrations. In between lectures interactive seminars are planned to give students the opportunity to address questions.

**“No muscle, no movement” **

In this cluster, different muscle disorders are discussed such as myasthenia gravis (including a visit to the electrophysiological lab), Duchenne muscular dystrophy and myositis. Muscles are indispensable for all our movements and actions. At some point all our thoughts and ideas need muscle activity. This varies from building new structures, writing up ideas or verbal communication with others.

**“No brain, no guidance” **

In this cluster, the emphasis is on plexus brachialis, polyneuropathy, and control of motor function by the brain. Muscles are connected with the brain and spinal cord through many peripheral nerves. Motor function can be impaired by diseases of muscle, the neuromuscular junction or the peripheral nerve, but also by chronic or acute dysfunction of the brain. Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and stroke are clear examples of these disorders.

**Week 3. “Sleep, stress, and pain ” **

The lectures cover topics about stress, addiction and pain. To move and use muscles in a meaningful way we need a well-timed guidance. The brain is not simply a centrally located “hard disk” with some software programs. It is far more sophisticated than any computer can imitate. Therefore, it is also capable of experiencing stress and pain and then adapting the behaviour of the person to changing environmental threads and challenges. Migraine will form an introduction to the function of the brain. Sensory input is essential for our brain function. We can experience pain, but the brain itself is painless.
All together this creates a personality, a unique human being, and if this goes wrong it manifests itself as psychiatric disease.

**Week 4. “Memory and Psychiatry” **

In this cluster, the lectures will cover diseases like depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease but also tumor cerebri to illustrate that things can go wrong in the brain by different mechanisms but with similar or overlapping consequences. Parkinson’s disease forms a link to the previous weeks as it also concerns the regulation of movement, but in addition depression and cognitive problems are part of the disease. The brain not only decides to perform one or another movement, it is also able to calculate and time the exact order, speed and frequency of those muscles that are needed for that specific action.

Course objectives

The student:

  • Understands the basic principles in neuroscience, including neuroanatomy and physiology of the central and peripheral synapses

  • Understands the principles that underlie diseases of the central or peripheral nervous system

  • Is able to discover, summarize and differentiate neurological symptoms and signs of peripheral and central nervous system diseases

  • Is able to make a differential diagnosis

  • Is able to make a short report based on hypotheses/questions that came up during the course linking neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and clinical features of the nervous system

  • Acquires a professional attitude towards patients with neurological diseases


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction


Every week several lectures will be given by either neurologists or research staff members to introduce the clinical features of a disease and its pathophysiology. Lecturers will provide articles to introduce their topics, if deemed necessary which can be used for further reading. These papers should be studied before the lecture, to be able to ask questions during the lectures.

Outpatient clinic sessions

Every student can visit one or two half-day sessions at the outpatient clinic to get familiar with the presentation of the clinical signs and symptoms as presented by a patient. These sessions are in Dutch as this is the mother language of most patients in which they can express themselves better than in English.

Interactive Seminars

These will be used to summarize and discuss all topics of that week. It will include:
-A general Question and Answer session.
-Short Case presentations: students will give 5-minute presentations on one patient who they met at the outpatient clinic.

Patient demonstrations

All students are invited to visit the Neurology Patient Demonstration. This is a 45-minute presentation held on Wednesday at 15.30 hour in one of the lecture rooms of the LUMC. At most meetings a patient will be asked to tell his or her experiences with a neurological disorder. This is followed by a short discussion and powerpoint presentation discussing the topic. These meetings are a regular activity of the Neurology department and the language is Dutch. The dresscode is a white doctor’s coat.

Other Demonstrations

  1. Lab demonstration on electrophysiological testing of the diaphragm.
  2. Quantitative muscle tests.
  3. Pathology session and dissection of a human brain to illustrate neuroanatomy in more detail.
  4. Demonstration of MRI.
  5. Visit tot the neuroanatomy museum

Assessment method

-Several weeks before the beginning of the course students will take part in a formative examination to test their prior knowledge.
-Students have to present cases.
-Each student has to write a short report.
-At the end of the course students must take an exam covering open questions about different neurological diseases. Several short case descriptions will be presented followed by one or more open questions. The answers are scored according to predefined criteria.
-After the exam a panel discussion will be held about the course.

The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at



Important note to non-Dutch speaking students: the outpatient clinic sessions as well as the patient demonstrations on Wednesday will be in Dutch, as most patients prefer to speak Dutch when they explain their medical problems.