Monday, February 12, 2007

Neuroanatomy Continued and PBL

This week's neuroanatomy session was much better than last week's. For the first half, we had a review of the pathways of the motor system. Afterward, we went into the lab and looked at preserved brains and screens with pictures from a neuroanatomy atlas on them. A lot of my classmates didn't find this exercise very useful, but to be fair, they weren't all exactly putting the most effort into getting something out of it. I wound up going back later on my own to review the structures again with Dr. Drake.

Our PBL case this week has only one patient, but he has two problems. So far it's shaping up to be a pretty interesting case. You might remember how five weeks ago when we came back from winter break, we covered all the anatomy of the arm in a single week. Needless to say, we don't remember much, so we're in major need of a review. I am covering the innervation of the arms for my learning objective. This is a really complex topic. All of the arm nerves come from a group of nerves called the brachial plexus. Here's a diagram of the brachial plexus so that you can see the complexity for yourself. There are five spinal nerve roots that come together into three trunks, which separate again into six divisions, which combine together again to form three cords. These three cords then give rise to all of the nerves in the arms. There are four major nerves (see the diagram,) plus tons of tiny branches. Like I told you, it's pretty complex.

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