St. Louis College of Pharmacy
A fight in a college town bar between the football player of one team and a drunken fan of a rival team results in a serious spinal cord injury. Students working in groups read the case and research the questions associated with it, which they then discuss in class. The case was designed to help pharmacy students understand the architecture of the central nervous system, its major motor/sensory tracts, the signs/symptoms of motor and sensory tract lesions, and the treatment of spinal cord injuries. It could be used in any course in which students have a basic knowledge of integrative physiology and have been exposed to the immune system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system, such as an undergraduate neuroscience course.
- Describe the major tracts within the central nervous system that carry either sensory or motor information (including the type of information, origin, and destination).
- Describe some of the basic clinical signs/symptoms associated with interruption of these spinal tracts.
- Understand basic vital signs taken by clinicians (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) and how they may be relevant to assessing a patient’s status.
- Explain the basics of treating a patient with a spinal cord injury.
- Understand that most treatments have undesirable side effects and explain how those side effects may be treated.
KeywordsCentral nervous system; spinal cord trauma; spinal cord injury; ipsilateral motor loss; contralateral sensory loss; Babinski sign; Methylprednisolone; Solumedrol
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Professional (degree program)
Subject HeadingsPhysiology | Pharmacy / Pharmacology | Neuroscience | Anatomy |