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).
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.
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.
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.
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. Pain. Fundamental organization of Cerebral cortex. Somatic cortices. Fundamental concepts in visual physiology. Motor systems. Cerebellum. Basal ganglia. The primary motor cortex. Cortical pathways to motor neurons.
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
Monticelli, “Fisiologia”. CEA.
Berne-Levy, “Fisiologia”. CEA
Fisiologia Medica a cura di Fiorenzo Conti. Volume 1. Edi-Ermes editore.
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), there are no tests during the course. We verify the acquired knowledge on the topics covered in the lessons. Every correct answer will be awarded one point, there are no penalties for wrong answers. The minimum threshold for passing the exam is 18 correct answers, corresponding to 18/30.