Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course, the student will have the knowledge and the capacity of understanding the mechanisms at the basis of cellular and tissue homeostasis,the functions of the different organs and apparata, their dynamis integration and the general mechanisms of corntrol of their functions in rest conditions and during physical activity, the mechanisms at the basis of the muscle contraction and of the muscle performance, and the main mechanisms of the sensory and motor functions of the central nervous system and of sensorimotor transformation processings.
The student will be able to apply this knowledge for the interpretation of pathological signs and symptoms.
Course contents summary
The course will provide the most important information on the vital functions of the human body. Specifically, first will deal with arguments of general physiology, with special reference to the electrical properties of membranes. Then the course will treat aspects of organ and system physiology with special reference to cardiovascular and respiratory physiology. Finally, the course will deal in detail on the physiology of skeletal muscle and on meurophysiology.
The cell membrane
Cell membrane structure; membrane proteins; transport mechanisms across membranes.
Electrical properties of membranes
Electrochemical gradients; passive and active ion channels; resting membrane potential; passive electrical properties of the membrane; action potential, genesis and conduction; classification of nerve fibers.
Electrical and chemical synapses; neuromuscular transmission; synapses in the central nervous system, neurotransmitters; receptors.
AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
Autonomic nervous system; vegetative reflexes
HEART AND BLOOD CIRCULATION
Physical principles of hemodynamics; blood physical properties; properties of the heart muscle: autogeneration of action potentials, conduction of action potentials, excitability, contraction; electrophysiology of the heart muscle; mechanical events of the cardiac cycle; cardiac output; regulation of heart functions; circulation system; vasomotor regulation; arterial blood pressure; venous blood pressure and venous blood return
Physical properties of gases; functional anatomy of the lungs; lung volumes and total lung capacity; mechanics of external respiration; lung compliance; respiratory resistances; Inhaled, alveolar and exhaled air; gases exchanges through the alveolo-capillary barrier; gases transport in the blood; blood flow through the lungs; ventilation-perfusion relationships; regulation of respiration.
SKELETAL MUSCLE AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGY
Physiology of the skeletal muscle
Methods for studying the functions of the central nervous system
Organization of the spinal cord; spinal reflexes
Organization of the brainstem; vestibular system; posture
Sensory systems: somatosensory system, visual system
Associative cortex, higher order cognitive functions
Cerebellum, basal ganglia, motor cortex
Fisiologia dell’uomo, edited by P.E. Di Prampero e A. Veicsteinas, Casa Editrice EDI-ERMES, Milano
Neuroscienze, edited Dale Purves, Casa Editrice Zanichelli
Oral lessons with Powerpoint presentation.
Before each new lesson, the teacher will first summarise then check whether the previous topics have been well understood through an interactive discussion with the students.
Assessment methods and criteria
The examination is oral and will aim to verify the knowledge of the students on the content of the course and the capacity of applying this knowledge to physiopathological examples.