Occupational Therapy 642

OCTH 642: Neuroscience for Occupational Therapy

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of OCTH 630, 632 and 634 or permission of the Chair

Credit Hours: (3)

Examines the gross anatomy and fundamental elements and processes of the nervous system, from a clinician's perspective.  Presents the neurological bases of pathological conditions and neurorehabilitation practices. 


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Topics include:

  • Division of the nervous system
  • Gross structures of the brain and spinal cord
  • Neurons and action potentials
  • Special sense receptors
  • The vestibular system
  • The autonomic nervous system
  • The enteric nervous system
  • Pain
  • Peripheral nerve injury and regeneration
  • Phantom limb phenomenon
  • Spinal cord tracts, injury and disease
  • Proprioception
  • Disorders of muscle tone
  • Motor functions and dysfunctions of the central nervous system
  • Sensory and perceptual functions and dysfunctions of the central nervous system
  • Motor and sensory roles of the thalamus and brainstem
  • Right versus left brain functions and disorders
  • Blood supply of the brain and cerebrovascular disorders
  • Commonly used neurodiagnostic tests
  • Neurotransmitters:  The neurochemical basis of human behavior
  • The effects of thermal modalities and electrical stimulation on function
  • The neurological substrates of addiction
  • Learning and memory
  • The neurological substrates of emotion
  • The aging brain


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course material from readings and lectures will be illustrated using surface and cross-sectional anatomical models of the brain, online radiographic resources, and videotaped case studies.  Students will independently investigate a neurological condition that affects occupational performance, and present their findings to the group.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human nervous system;
  2. Analyze the effects of neurological conditions and the aging brain, on the individual and on occupational performance;
  3. Discuss the neurological substrates of pain, phantom limb phenomenon, muscle tone, sensory and perceptual skills, addiction, emotion, learning and memory;
  4. Read and understand the results of selected neurodiagnostic tests;
  5. Explain the principles underlying the use of superficial thermal and mechanical modalities as preparatory measures to improve occupational performance;
  6. Explain the principles underlying the use of deep thermal and electrotherapeutic modalities as preparatory measures to improve occupational performance.


Assessment Measures

Objective and laboratory examinations, and a graded oral presentation, may be used to assess the outcomes of the course.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February, 2009