Course Syllabus

Neurological Disorders and Diseases 

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2019 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Biomedicine/Biotechnology, Neuroscience, Pre-Medicine/Health Science


One year of biology and one year of chemistry at the university level. It is highly recommended, but not required, that students have taken the equivalent of an introductory neuroscience course. 

Faculty Members:

Song Guo and Bettina Hornbøll Borch

Program Director:

Susana Dietrich

Time & Place:

Tuesdays and Fridays, 13:45-15:05 or 15:30-17:30, V10-B24 and Herlev Hospital ( *Please review course schedule for location and time)


SongGuoPhoto.jpg Song Guo: M.D, PhD
MD (University of Copenhagen, 2012), PhD  in Neurology, (2016). Research in migraine headaches. Danish Headache Center & Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen. With DIS since 2012.


Bettina Hornbøll Borch, PhD

Ph.D.(Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen, 2017), MSc. (Neurobiology, University of Copenhagen, 2006), BA (Biology, University of Copenhagen, 2004). Founder of CogniCation; cognitive communication. Has been conducting neuroscience research for approx. 10 years, investigating emotion processing in the brain using imaging. With DIS since 2012.

Course Description

This course examines neuroscience with a molecular approach. Featuring central topics of clinical neurology and neuroscience, the students will be introduced to the vast subject of the brain. Lectures will give a selection of diseases as viewed from both the scientist and the clinician.

Scientifically, we will focus on normal physiology and anatomy, neurotransmitter function and, when confronted with disease, how disease can be studied in animal models.

Clinically, we will show how to examine patients and do the diagnostic work-up. We will present patient cases with relevance to the topic, discuss methods of treatment, and explain how this is linked to neuro-scientific studies.

Additionally, practical neurology and neuroscience in Denmark will be discussed and modeled through field studies.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a basic introduction into anatomy and physiology of the brain and nerves
  • Understand symptoms and signs of major neurological disorders and diseases and their respective treatments
  • Understand the neurobiological substrates of these neurological disorders and how they are studied
  • Apply neuroanatomical principles to predict signs and symptoms of disorders
  • Describe neurological clinical practice in a scientific context

Approach to Teaching

The course will be taught with a dynamic where the students are expected to participate in an interactive way by contributing questions, opinions, and explanations. 

Expectations of Students & Code of Conduct

  • Laptops are not allowed to be open in the classroom unless agreed upon for specified tasks such as article reading or for discussion purposes (tasks will be agreed upon in each class).
  • Reading must be done prior to the class session.
  • Since class participation is a major component of the course, you will need to be present and participating to receive full credit. Your grade will be deducted for unexcused absences and lack of participation. Remember to be in class on time!
  • If you unexpectedly have to miss class due to being sick or are running late to class, please send an email to your teachers.
  • Classroom etiquette includes being respectful of one another’s opinions, listening to others, and entering a dialogue in a constructive manner

Field Studies

Field studies serve to complement your course work by placing you in other contexts than class in order to compare, extend, and rethink what has been (or will be) read and discussed in class.


Participation covers the following areas:

  1. Attendance
  2. Level of preparation and ability to answer questions asked in class
  3. Active participation in class and small group discussions

To prepare for each day, you are required to read all assigned material. You are expected to attend all DIS classes when scheduled, and attendance and participation will be consistently monitored: in class, at field studies, and on study tours. If you miss multiple classes, the Office of Academic Support will be notified and they will follow-up with you to make sure that all is well.  Absences will jeopardize your grade and your standing at DIS.  Allowances will be made in cases of illness; however, for multiple absences, you will need to provide a doctor’s note.

Evaluation and Grading

Case Assignment I

Case Assignment II

Tests: Midterm and final exams

Final exam: At the end of the semester, there will be a cumulative final exam covering the entire semester.

Case assignment I


Case assignment II


Group presentation (GROUP GRADE)


Midterm exam




Final Exam




To be eligible for a passing grade in this class, you must complete all of the assigned work.




Late papers and/or assignments

Late papers will be accepted, but your grade for the paper will be reduced by half a letter grade for each day that it is late.

Use of Laptops or Phones in Class

Use of phones in class is not allowed. Laptop use is only allowed for group and project work.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

 DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Questions and feedback

If you have questions on the readings, lectures, or assignments, you are always welcome to contact us by email. Alternatively, you can email program assistant Tatyana Louis ( to setup an appointment or ask a question. 

DIS Contacts

Susana Dietrich, Program Director
Tatyana Louis, Program Assistant,
Science & Health Program Office: Vestergade 7-37

Required Readings

  • Essential Neurology, Wilkinson I and Lennox G, 4th ed. 2005
  • Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4th Edition, 2016 by Mark F. Bear, Barry W. Connors, Michael A. Paradiso
  • Any relevant reading material will be posted on the course page on Canvas; please check it regularly.

Course Literature

Albert SJ, Kesselring J. Neurorehabilitation of stroke. J Neurol. 2012 May; 259(5):817-32. (15pp)

Cavanaugh et al., Animal Models of Alzheimer Disease: Historical Pitfalls and a Path Forward, ALTEX 2014, PMID 24793844

Duty & Jenner, Animal models of Parkinson's disease: a source of novel treatments and clues to the cause of the disease, Br J Pharmacol, 2011, PMID 21486284

Masters et al., Alzheimer's disease, Nature Reviews 2015, PMID 27188934

Medcalf RL, Davis SM. Plaminogen activation and thrombolysis for ischemic stroke, Int J Stroke, 2012 Jul;7(5):419-25. (6PP)

Poewe et al., Parkinson disease, Nature Reviews 2017, PMID 28332488

Ransohoff et al. Animal models of multiple sclerosis: the good, the bad and the bottom line, Nat Neurosci 2012, PMID    22837037

Rocchi et al., Recent imaging advances in neurology, J Neurol 2015 PMID 25808503

Rubio et al. In Vivo Experimental Models of Epilepsy, Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem, 2010, PMID 20868357

Scharfman, The Neurobiology of Epilepsy, Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep, 2007, PMID 17618543

Stys et al. Will the real multiple sclerosis please stand up?, Nat Rev Neurosci, 2012, PMID 22714021

Van der Stayy, Evaluation of animal models of neurobehavioral disorders, Behav Brain Funct 2009, PMID    19243583


Course Summary:

Date Details