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Facing the Pain

An Interrupted Case Study in Physiology


Author(s)

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 Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Physiology  |   Bioinformatics  |   Medicine (General)  |  


Date Posted

9/15/2009

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