Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems

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Normal Processes

Embryonic development, fetal maturation, and perinatal changes, including neural tube derivatives, cerebral ventricles, neural crest derivatives

Repair, regeneration, and changes associated with stage of life

Organ structure and function

  • Spinal cord, including gross anatomy, blood supply, and spinal reflexes

  • Brain stem, including cranial nerves and nuclei, reticular formation, gross anatomy, and blood supply

  • Brain, including gross anatomy and blood supply; cognition, language, memory; hypothalamic function; limbic system and emotional behavior; circadian rhythms and sleep; control of eye movement

  • Sensory systems, including proprioception, pain, vision, hearing, balance, taste, and olfaction

  • Motor systems, including brain and spinal cord, basal ganglia and cerebellum

  • Autonomic nervous system

  • Peripheral nerve

Cell/tissue structure and function

  • Axonal transport

  • Excitable properties of neurons, axons and dendrites, including channels

  • Synthesis, storage, release, reuptake, and degradation of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators

  • Pre- and postsynaptic receptor interactions, trophic and growth factors

  • Brain metabolism

  • Glia, myelin

  • Brain homeostasis: blood-brain barrier; cerebrospinal fluid formation and flow; choroid plexus

Abnormal Processes

  • Infectious, inflammatory, and immunologic disorders (eg, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis)

  • Traumatic and mechanical disorders (eg, subdural and epidural hematomas, cord compression, peripheral nerve injury)

  • Neoplastic disorders, including primary and metastatic

  • Acquired metabolic and regulatory disorders (eg, delirium, Reye syndrome)

  • Vascular disorders (eg, cerebrovascular occlusion, venous sinus thrombosis, arterial aneurysms, hemorrhage)

  • Systemic disorders affecting the nervous system (eg, lupus, diabetic neuropathy)

  • Idiopathic disorders affecting the nervous system

  • Congenital disorders, including metabolic (eg, neural tube defects, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Down syndrome)

  • Degenerative disorders (eg, peripheral neuropathy, Alzheimer dementia, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

  • Paroxysmal disorders (eg, epilepsy, headache, pain syndromes, and sleep disorders including narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movement, circadian rhythm disorders, parasomnias)

  • Disorders of special senses (eg, blindness, deafness)

Psychopathologic disorders, processes and their evaluation

  • Early-onset disorders (eg, learning disorders)

  • Disorders related to substance use

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders

  • Mood disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Somatoform disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Physical and sexual abuse of children, adults, and elders

  • Other disorders (eg, dissociative, impulse control, post-traumatic stress disorder)

Principles of Therapeutics

Mechanisms of action, use, and adverse effects of drugs for treatment of disorders of the nervous system

  • Anesthetics

  • Hypnotics

  • Psychopharmacologic agents (eg, anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotic agents, mood-stabilizing agents)

  • Anticonvulsants

  • Analgesics

  • Stimulants, amphetamines

  • Antiparkinsonian drugs

  • Skeletal muscle relaxants, botulinum toxin

  • Neuromuscular junction blocking agents (postsynaptic)

  • Antiglaucoma drugs

  • Drugs used to decrease intracranial pressure (eg, mannitol, high-dose glucocorticoids)

  • Antimigraine agents

  • Drugs affecting autonomic nervous system (eg, anticholinesterases)

Other therapeutic modalities (eg, radiation, CFS shunting, surgery)

Patterns Affecting Treatment

Gender, ethnic, and behavioral considerations affecting disease treatment and prevention, including psychosocial, cultural, occupational, and environmental

  • Emotional and behavioral factors (eg, drug abuse, dementia, sleep deprivation, accident prevention, pets)

  • Influence on person, family, and society (eg, developmental disabilities, dementia, generation reversal, nutrition, seizures, sleep disorders)

  • Occupational and other environmental risk factors (eg, boxing, carbon monoxide exposure)

  • Gender and ethnic factors