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NEURO – 410

Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Course Coordinators: Drs. S. Kar and J. H. Jhamandas

Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday ( 9.30 – 10.50 A.M. )

Location: CEB 231 (Civil Engineering Building Room - 231)

Objective: This course is designed to provide senior undergraduate and graduate students in the Neuroscience program a comprehensive overview on neurobiology of normal aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Both clinical and basic science aspects of major neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington disease, Prion disease and Motor neuron disease (MND) will be covered. We also intend to include a video presentation of patients with neurodegenerative disorders to add a clinical and psychological dimension. Additionally, discussion of recent papers reporting new developments in neurodegenerative disorders has been integrated in the course to encourage interactions between students and Faculty. Finally, two invited lectures will be given by national/international experts on aspects of neurodegenerative disorders to amplify topics covered in the course. This course should not be taken for credit by graduate students if credit has already been obtained in Neuro-410.

Prerequisite: Pharmacology course 371

Requirements for graduate students: Graduate students undertaking projects related to Neuroscience may take this course as a part of their course requirements for their graduate program. The lectures are same as for undergraduate students, but additional assignments and evaluation are expected of graduate students. All graduate students must write a research paper (15 marks) on a selected topic during the post-midterm session. Research topics will be provided immediately after midterm with a two-week submission deadline. Apart from submitting a research paper, graduate students will be expected to answer two (out of three) short-answer questions (5 marks each) during the midterm and final exams. This will be in addition to completing the multiple-choice exam (see below) administered to all students enrolled in the course.

General Course consideration


Undergraduate students: 40% Midterm and 60% Final Exam
Graduate students: 35% Midterm, 50% Final Exam and 15% Research paper

Exam Dates:

Midterm Examination: 17. 02. 2011
Final Examination: 19. 04. 2011
Deferred Final Examination: 02. 05. 2011

Grading: Examinations will consist of multiple choice questions. The final examination will cover entire course material, but about 70% will be on lectures following the midterm examination. Results from the midterm and final exams will be used to determine a course mark which is then used to assign a final grade. In case you miss the midterm exam, the weight of that exam will be transferred to the final exam, only if proper document is presented to the instructor within two working days of the missed exam. In the case of illness, you are required to present a University of Alberta Medical Statement form signed by the treating physician within 48 hrs of the missed exam. In case of other instances (e.g., family affliction) you are required to provide a statutory declaration sworn at the Records Division, Examinations and Timetabling, Office of the Registrar. A missed exam without proper document will be assigned a grade of 0.

If you miss the final exam, you must apply to your Faculty Office for permission to write a deferred final examination. You are responsible for the proper documentation (e.g., a University of Alberta Medical Statement form signed by the treating physician) that is required for an application and should be presented to the Faculty Office within 5 working days of the missed final examination. A missed exam without proper document will be assigned a grade of 0.

Class interactions: We encourage questions and discussion during the lecture.

University Code of Conduct: “The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.”

Plagiarism: No student shall submit the words, ideas, images or data of another person as the student's own in any academic writing or assignment in a course without proper reference materials.

Cheating: No student shall, in the course of an examination, obtain or attempt to obtain from another student or unauthorized source. It is also an offense to represent or attempt to represent oneself as someone or oneself represented by another in the taking of an examination or preparation of any course related activity. Students should refer to the online Code of Student Behaviour for a full description of academic offences.

Resource Materials: Will be provided by individual instructors and details will be sent by email/posted on the course schedule.