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Facing the Pain

An Interrupted Case Study in Physiology



Co Authors:

Ryan Doyle
Department of Biology
Villanova College

Matthew Heslin
Department of Biology
Villanova College

Michael Keller
Department of Biology
Villanova College

Philip J. Stephens
Department of Biology
Villanova University
phil.stephens@villanova.edu

Abstract:

This interrupted case study in cardiovascular and nerve physiology focuses on Lynn, a married woman with a young child whose husband is often away from home traveling on business. Lynn is anxious and short-tempered. She is also overweight and appears frustrated with her life. Recently, she has been experiencing intense pain on the right side of her face. One day she becomes disoriented while driving and crashes into a tree. Students research and analyze a variety of signs, symptoms, and medical data to solve the case. Developed for an animal physiology course taken by sophomore and junior science majors, the case could also be used in an anatomy and physiology course or general biology course.

Objectives:
  • Describe the effect of high blood pressure on the integrity of blood vessels.
  • Draw a simple spinal reflex, and differentiate between sensory motor and inter-neurons.
  • Understand the function of the trigeminal nerve.
  • Describe the link between high blood pressure and an aneurysm.
  • Demonstrate the effect of compression on action potential production.
  • Relate inappropriate action potentials in sensory neurons with the sensation of pain.
Keywords: Nervous system; neurophysiology; sensory nerves; pain; axon compression; action potentials; aneurism; trigeminal nerve
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Bioinformatics   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 9/15/2009
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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