Author(s):Dr Karen Stanley and reviewed by Dr Annie Swanepoel
Type:TrOn learning module
The two main types of cells that make up the nervous system are neurons and glial cells. These cells form the core components of the nervous system and knowledge of their structure and function is necessary to understand ‘normal’ and ‘altered’ brain functioning.
An understanding of the cells of the nervous system can then be applied to clinical practice. For example, aberrations within these cells are described in the pathophysiology of some psychiatric disorders, such as cortical glial loss in major depression. Certain psychotropic medications that alter neurotransmitter metabolic pathways also affect glial and neuronal functioning.
Overall this module aims to include the necessary information to pass the MRCPsych examination, but it will also augment other areas of module learning including the physiology of neurons, neuroreceptors and neurotransmitters.
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