Neurology and neurophysiology
Module: Physiotherapy
Contact hours – lectures: 60
Contact hours – seminar:  
Contact hours – clinical exercises:  
Contact hours – clinical practice:  
Holder of subject: Dr Tomaž Pogačnik, Professor
Dr David Vodušek, Professor
Year of study: First
Neurology and neurophysiology              

Contact hours – lectures: 60
Contact hours – seminar:  
Contact hours – clinical exercises:  
Contact hours – clinical practice:  
Holder of subject: Dr Tomaž Pogačnik, Professor
Dr David Vodušek, Professor
Education providers:
  • Dr Tomaž Pogačnik, Professor
  • Dr David Vodušek, Professor
Level of study: First Bologna cycle professional education study program
Semester: Winter
Language: Slovene/English
Subject-specific competences:
At neurophysiology student learns about following structures, functions and dysfunctions:
  • a nerve membrane, receptors, proprioception, nociception, pain; afferent systems;
  • synaptic transmission, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, excitation, postsynaptic and presynaptic inhibition, facilitation, stimulus summing, potentiation, Habituation, memory;
  • pathological pain, mechanoreceptor, a feeling for a location of joints, vestibular system, visual and aural system;
  • Peripheral (below) motoric neuron, motorial unit, types: neuromuscular synapse; characteristics of peripheral motoric defect, the clinical picture of individual upper or lower limb nerves defect or defect of motorial brain nerves; defects of roots and plexus, 'kavda equina' syndrome,  atrophy during activity;
  • Central (upper) motor neuron, motor cortex, the direct and indirect motor route; the role of the extrapyramidal system, the vestibular system and the cerebellum in the movements regulation; the clinical picture of the upper motor neurone defect pathophysiology of spasticity, cyclic and tonic phenomena, clonus, spasms;
  • Spinal shock, cortical, capsular stem failure of motor lines, defect at cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal cord, cones and epicones syndrome, Parkinson muscle stiffness, decerebratical and decorticatical rigidity, sensor and cerebellar ataxia;
Student also learns about:
  • Higher nerve activity, consciousness, speech, thinking, memory, emotions, mental development;
  • the major neurological diseases such as abnormalities of the nervous system infections, cerebrovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, craniocerebral trauma, epilepsy, disorders of wakefulness and sleep, headache, Parkinson's and other diseases of the basal ganglia, degenerative diseases of the central nervous system, damage of the spinal cord, diseases of the nerves, nerve -muscle diseases, most mental disorders.
Objectives and competences:
The aim of the course is to gain theoretical and practical basis for two main areas of future profession of a graduate: for an independent physiotherapeutic treatment of neurological patient and for meaningful use of neurophysiotherapy methods. Student should gain enough understanding about physiological mechanisms of the nervous system as in health and as in neurological and other illness conditions to perform physiotherapy procedures, monitor and assess their effects independently in cooperation with patients’ doctor.

Knowledge and understanding:
Specific competences 
  • Understands and knows functions of the nervous system
  • Understands basic physiological processes on which the functioning of nerves bases on the level of receptor synapse, neuron, neurological systems and integrated mechanisms of global system disorders.
  • Knows in details the basic mechanisms of sensory system and motoric and their integration to meaningful behaviour as a response to the environment an inner physiological needs and knows about basis of higher nerve activity.
  • Knows in details some characteristics of functional neuro-anatomy (sensory and motoric systems, simple and complex reflexes and integrative mechanisms together with humoral mechanisms of neuroregulation. Student is familiar with some details of topographic neuro –anatomy, which are important for understanding of symptoms and signs of black spots of the defects of nervous system.
  • Understands the nature of pathological phenomenon in the nerve activity: positive and negative phenomena’s, symptoms and signs of irritation, functional failures consequence by permanent or temporary structure failure (caused by functional dominance of structure excitation or inhibition that are usually under the control of mail functional structures are antagonistic) and the development of new patterns, through which the nervous system tries to achieve new balance.
  • Student knows the dynamics of functional development disorders, the meaning of acute or chronical occurrence of structural disorder, and plastic and compensational regenerative abilities of the nervous system. 
  • Student understands the physiological foundations and interpretation of empirical techniques of developed neuro-physiotherapy, knows the terms for successful use of techniques for different patients, and is able to assess indications and contraindications for the patient.
Mandatory references:
  • Lavrič, A., 2007. Klinična nevrološka preiskava, 4. izd. Ljubljana: Medicinski razgledi. 
  • Woollacott, M., 2001. Motor control. Theory and practical applications. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Fowler, T.J. & Scanding, J.W., 2003. Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Arnold London.
  • Hauser, S.L. & Josephson, S.A., eds., 2010. Harrison's Neurology in Clinical Medicine, 2nd ed. New York [etc.] : McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division.
Recommended references:  
Study obligations: 50% obligatory attendance at lectures
100% obligatory attendance at seminars
submitted and presented seminar work
Assessment methods: written examination (100%)