HAP-30806 Brain, Hormones and Metabolism


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work5
Course coordinator(s)dr. KJ Teerds
Lecturer(s)dr. KJ Teerds
Examiner(s)dr. KJ Teerds
prof. dr. ir. J Keijer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

EZO-10306 Human and Animal Biology I; AP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2; HAP-21806 Behavioural Endocrinology.


During the course Brain Hormones and Metabolism different aspects of brain function with specific emphasis on the physiological aspects, will be discussed. The course is subdivided in 5 themes, namely Histology, Anatomy and Physiology of the Brain, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, the Gut-Brain axis, Psychopharmacology and Drug Abuse, and Physiological Aspects of Neuronal Disorders. Although subdivided in different themes, it should become clear during the course that the same area in the brain can have completely different functions due to the various influences these areas receive (from either other brain areas (neuronal influences), or peripheral (hormonal) signals). Activation of neurons leads to a cascade of (molecular) physiological processes, essential for the proper functioning of the individual as a whole.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- interpret and analyze how neurons in the brain communicate with each other and the periphery;
- integrate and apply the functioning of the physiological and neurological mechanisms which control sleep and arousal and the importance of circadian rhythmicity in these processes;
- analyze the (molecular) physiological regulation of the gut-brain axis and apply this knowledge to design experiments investigating the consequences of interventions on the functioning of this axis;
- analyze how drugs make (ab)use of the neuronal communication within the brain;
- analyze how disturbances in normal neurological pathways can lead to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington’s disease, with specific emphasis on the role of mitochondria.


- apart from lectures also tutorials and a paper (group work) are part of the course;
- computer-aided practicals and practicals in (neuro)physiology are used to illustrate brain function.


- written test with 10 to 15 open questions (80%);
- case study report (20%).
For the case study report a minimal mark of 5.5 (equivalent to 11 points) is required. When these requirements are met, the score becomes indefinite.
When 55 or more points have been acquired for the exam plus case study, student has passed the course successfully.


Apart from hand-outs.
Lecture notes and study manual.
To be announced

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScA: Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Nutrition and Metabolism5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScE: Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Biomedical Research5MO
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScB: Biological Chemistry5MO