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.
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
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
Monticelli, “Fisiologia”. CEA.
Berne-Levy, “Fisiologia”. CEA
Edi-Ermes editore “Fisiologia Umana Elementi”.
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
The evaluation of the acquired knowledge, on the issues addressed during the course, will be verified through a written exam. The exam can be accomplished, upon registration online, in the appeals of the official exam calendar of the Department of Food and Drug Sciences. The student must demonstrate and have acquired the basic notions of General Physiology and understand the fundamental concepts of each addressed topic. The written exam consists of a quiz part (22 questions True / False) and 4 open questions. The quiz part evaluates the concepts acquired by the student during the course and the ability to understand the topics studied. Open questions assess the ability to use scientific language, the ability to deepen the topics studied and evaluate the communication skills.
For each correct answer of the quiz a score of 1 point will be awarded, penalties of 0,5 point are provided for each wrong answer and there are no penalties for unanswered questions. Each open question will be assigned a score variable from 0 to 2 in relation to the level of correctness of the answer: 0 points not answer or wrong answer; 1 points sufficient; 2 points excellent. There are no penalties for incorrect answers to open questions. The minimum threshold for passing the exam is 18 points, corresponding to 18/30. The results of the examination are published on the ESSE3 portal.