Clinical Neuroanatomy

Course Coordinator/Instructor:

Dr. Raj Rajakumar
Office: MSB 464, Medical Sciences Building
Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 80521
Dr. Walter Rushlow (coordinator)
Office: MSB 454, Medical Sciences Building Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 85141 Email:

Suggested Prerequisites:

Neuroscience 2000, ACB3319 or equivalent.

Enrolment: 15 students (Clinical Anatomy MSc students)


The purpose of ACB9569B is to provide an advanced introduction to the anatomy of the central nervous system. Lectures will give an overview of the anatomy, interconnections and function(s) of specific regions/structures of the human nervous system. The laboratories will offer a hands-on opportunity to identify the major landmarks of the brain and better understand the three dimensional architecture of the brain. Collectively, the lectures and laboratories will provide the anatomical and functional foundation necessary to understand disorders of the central nervous system. A variety of disorders affecting the central nervous system, such as stroke, schizophrenia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, will be discussed in terms of clinical signs/prognosis and cause/pathology. In addition, clinical issues will be examined through the use of case studies. Students will need to apply what they have learned about the central nervous system to solve case studies and provide a diagnosis. Finally, there will be a guest speaker from a clinical department that is an expert in one of the disorders covered in the course that will provide an opportunity to hear directly from a clinician treating these disorders in human patients.

Time and Location: Thursdays 11:30am-3:30pm, MSB447.

One 2-hour lecture/week
One 2-hour laboratories or learning module/week

Books and Notes:
There are a variety of good neuroanatomy texts, atlases and dissectors available and most are suitable for the course. However, the course instructors will use the following as guides for the course: The Human Nervous System: An Anatomical Viewpoint (9th Edition), John A. Kiernan. The Human Brain in Dissection (2nd Edition), D.G. Montemurro. Powerpoint Lectures/Case Studies will be available from the instructors. Specimens (models, plastinated brains, cross-sections and fixed brain specimens for dissection) are available in the gross anatomy laboratory, anatomy museum and from Michael Wu in the department.

Course Evaluation:
Neuroanatomy Lab Quiz        Feb. 28th                                              10%
Self-Directed Dissection                                                                     5% (Participation)               
Case Study Presentation        March 21st – Apr. 4th                          15%
Mid-term Exam                      Feb. 28th                                              30%
Final Exam                            April 18th                                              40%

The neuroanatomy lab quiz will be a ‘bell ringer’ consisting of 25 questions. Specimens and models will be preset at different stations for the students to examine and derive an answer. Two minutes will be permitted to answer each question before moving on to the next station. There will not be an opportunity to return to previous stations.

A case study will be provided to each student enrolled in the course. The student is responsible for researching the case and providing a presentation that includes an overview of the case, the region(s) of the brain affected and the possible cause(s) for the symptoms presented. There will be an opportunity for discussion at the end of each case study and the ‘answer’ will be revealed. Both faculty (7.5%) and students (7.5%) will grade the presentation to obtain a final mark (15%).

Mid-Term and Final Exams will be short answer. The final exam is non-cumulative.

Statement on Use of Electronic Devices
The use of electronic devices such as laptops and tablets are permitted except during the laboratory quiz, mid-term and final examinations.

Course outline

Lecture 1


Blood Supply, Meninges and CSF



Jan. 17th
Lecture 2
Laboratory 1


Spinal Cord
General Structure of the Brain, Blood Supply and Meninges



Jan. 24th
Lecture 3
Laboratory 2


Brainstem and Cranial Nerves
Brainstem, Cranial Nerves and Spinal Cord



Jan. 31st
Lecture 4
Laboratory 3





Feb. 7th
Lecture 5
Laboratory 4


Cerebral Cortex
Cerebral cortex and White Matter



Feb. 14th
Lecture 6
Laboratory 5


Corpus Striatum
Basal Ganglia



Feb. 21st
Lecture 7
Laboratory 6


Cerebellum, White Matter and Ventricles
Cerebellum and Ventricular System



Feb. 28th
Lecture 8
Laboratory 7


Mid-Term Exam
Review & Laboratory Quiz


RR and WR

March 7th
Lecture 9
Learning Module 1


Limbic System
Case Presentation Demonstration


RR and WR

March 14th
Lecture 10
Learning Module 2


General Sensory Systems
Guest Speaker


RR and WR

March 21st
Lecture 11
Learning Module 3


Special Sensory Systems
Case Presentations


RR and WR

March 28th
Lecture 12
Learning Module 4


Motor System
Case Presentations


RR and WR

April 4th
Lecture 13
Learning Module 5


Visceral Innervation
Case Presentations


RR and WR

April 11th
Lecture 14


Review and Questions


RR and WR

RR: Raj Rajakumar; WR: Walter Rushlow