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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - PHC7030
Tracking Number - 1821

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Current Status: Approved, Permanent Archive - 2006-02-09
Submission Type:
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Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2005-10-10
  2. Department: EPB
  3. College: PH
  4. Budget Account Number: 6403-000-20
  5. Contact Person: Amy R. Borenstein
  6. Phone: 46670
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: PHC
  9. Number: 7030
  10. Full Title: Neuroepidemiology
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: Y
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Neuroepi
  19. Course Online?: -
  20. Percentage Online:
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: Epidemiology 6000, Biostatistics 6050
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: This course provides an overview of the epidemiology of selected neurologic diseases. Particular emphasis is placed on how methodologic problems apply to the epidemiologic study of a variety of neurologic diseases.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: No course in the College of Public Health is given to teach students about the epidemiology of neurologic diseases. A number of courses in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics are given in the areas of cardiovascular disease, cancer, occupati
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? The need for this course is primarily in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. It serves as a "selective" course in the substantive areas of study (e.g., neurologic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease) for Master's students but is intended for Doctoral students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics. The course is not part of a required sequence for the Doctoral program in Epidemiology; although most student liekly will take it. The average size of the class has been around 10. Other programs that the course services: Medicine, Biochemistry, Psychology, Gerontology, School of Aging Studies. REQUESTING THAT THIS COURSE IS GIVEN A 7000 NUMBER BECAUSE IT IS DIRECTED PRIMARILY TOWARD DOCTORAL STUDENTS.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? This course has been taught a total of 3 times: 1996, 1997, 2005. We are planning to offer it every second Summer Session C.
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Ph.D. or similar terminal degree in Epidemiology.

    Research experience in neurologic diseases.

  29. Objectives: Other recommended courses: Research Methods, Biostatistics II, Categorical Data Analysis, Survival Analysis.

    Course Objectives

    (i) Synthesize information on the basic biology of the neuron, how neurons degenerate and how the ďthreshold hypothesisĒ is relevant to the presentation of neurodegenerative diseases.

    (ii) Assess the major methodologic problems involved in research of neurologic disorders and recognize how these will impact the design and analysis of epidemiologic studies. Understand under what conditions to apply a certain epidemiologic design.

    (iii) Describe the spongiform encephalopathies and the relationship between the animal and human forms; understand the origin of the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Great Britain in the mid 1990's, understand the rates of occurrence (incidence, prevalence, mortality) of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the risk factors associated with this disorder.

    (iv) Summarize the biological and clinical aspects of multiple sclerosis, the world distribution of this disease, the evidence pointing to early life factors in its etiology and the alleged evidence for clustering of this disease. The student will also be familiar with risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis.

    (v) Evaluate the reasons that proxy respondents are frequently necessary in the design of neuroepidemiologic studies and understand methods for testing the reliability and validity of such data.

    (vi) Explain the pathology, biology, symptomatology and nosology of dementia, with specific emphasis on Alzheimerís disease. Examine the prevalence, incidence and mortality rates, and synthesize reasons that rates vary between studies. Identify risk factors as they apply throughout the life course, including developmental and genetic risk factors, as well as adult risk factors. Assess the risk factors for vascular dementia.

    (vii) Describe the clinical symptoms and signs of Parkinsonís disease, and the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for this disease. Summarize the role of synthetic chemicals as an exposure causing Parkinsonís disease (MPTP) and explain the reasons that this finding spurred great interest in environmental causes for this disease. Assess other risk factors for Parkinsonís disease.

    (viii) Explain the clinical symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the other forms of motor neuron disease, and the incidence, prevalence and mortality of ALS. Synthesize the analytic epidemiology of ALS, including genetic and environmental causes.

    (ix) Appraise the published literature by critiquing papers for issues related to hypothesis generation, design, analysis and interpretation.

  30. Learning Outcomes: (i) Examine the reason that neurons degenerate in different neurologic systems.

    (ii) Discuss the methodologic proglems related to each neurologic disease covered in the course and how they affect the epidemiology of these diseases

    (iii) Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the medical literature on neurologic diseases that are dealt with in the course

    (iv) Appraise others as to the distribution of select neurologic diseases in populations with regard to age, gender, ethnicity/race, and geography

    (v) Instruct others as to the determinants of selected neurologic diseases in populations with regard to known genetic and environmental risk factors

    (vi) Compare the major limitations with regard to knowledge of neurologic diseases in different cultures and peoples around the world

    (vii) Research the layout of an NIH grant application and how to write such an application with specific reference to the design of an epidemiologic study

    (viii) Synthesize a study to examine the relation between an exposure and a neurologic disease outcome, taking into account the samples and their underlying populations; the measurement of exposure, potentiall confounding and effect-modifying variables, estimate power and sample size for such a study, explain how to implement a study to address these issues in a real-life context

    (ix) Evaluate the literature and assess strengths and weaknesses of published papers in the peer-reviewed literature

  31. Major Topics: Overview of methodologic issues related to neuroepidemiology

    Biology of the neuron

    The Spongiform Encephalopathies

    Multiple Sclerosis I: Clinical aspects of MS and Descriptive Epidemiology

    Multiple Sclerosis II: Analytic Epidemiology

    Proxy respondents in neuroepidemiology

    The Dementias: Alzheimer's disease 1: Pathology and Symptomatology, Descriptive Epidemiology

    The Dementias: Alzheimer's disease II: Analytic Epidemiology and Other Dementias

    Parkinson's Disease

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) on Guam

  32. Textbooks: (i) Required Text: Neuroepidemiology: From Principles to Practice. Lorene Nelson, Caroline Tanner, Stephen van den Eeden, Valerie McGuire (Eds). New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Available at the HSC Bookstore.

    (ii) Supplemental readings (available at the COPH Copy Center); Papers to critique in class and additional readings (see Topics and Assigned Readings)

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases:
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy:
  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests:
  36. Attendance Policy:
  37. Policy on Make-up Work:
  38. Program This Course Supports:
  39. Course Concurrence Information:

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