Focus on Case Studies in Neurology

For this assignment you will respond to three case studies.

1. Amy is cooking dinner for her family. She moves to pull a pot off the stove and accidently touches

the burner. She reflexively pulls her finger away from the stove and immediately feels the pain.
Which receptor neuron is responsible for sending information from her finger to her peripheral nervous

Is this receptor neuron, an afferent or efferent neuron?
Explain where the information from the receptor neuron is sent and how does it result in Amy moving her

finger away from the stove.
How many neurons are typically involved in this response? What are the names of these neurons?
Evolutionarily, why do you think the human body has this system in place?
What might happen if we did not have this response?

2.Glen, who is 45 years old, begins to notice that his hands shake (tremors) when he is performing

everyday tasks such as signing his signature. His family members have noticed that he also has muffled

speech and tends to shuffle when he walks. He is diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s disease.
What is Early Onset Parkinson’s disease?
What specific cell type is affected in Parkinson’s disease?
What is dopamine? What effects does dopamine have on the body?
Explain the structure of a synapse and why Glen’s neurologist would prescribe him a dopamine agonist?
Glen has genetic testing performed and it is determined that he does carry an autosomal dominant

mutation in the SNCA gene associated with Early Onset Parkinson’s disease. Glen has three children.

Would you advise his children to have genetic testing performed to determine if they also carry the

disease mutation? Why or why not?

3.Patricia, who is 37 years old, discusses with her physician recent symptoms that she has experienced

including blurred vision, numbness in her fingers and face, dizziness, fatigue and weakness. The

physician performs multiple neurological tests and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
What is MS?
Is MS a disease of the central or peripheral nervous system?
What is the main cell structure affected in MS?
How is the action potential of a neuron affected in MS?
The origins of MS are not clear. What do scientists hypothesize to be the causes of MS?
Your assignment should be written in an essay format.

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