Department of Neurology
Neurology covers the diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. The Department of Neurology has an extensive presence in each phase of the medical school curriculum. In Phase 1, students are introduced to the basic anatomy and function of the nervous system as well as the major diseases encountered by neurologists in Modules 6 and 7. Students can also rotate on neurology services during their clinical immersions in Phase 1. During Phase 2, students rotate through neurology as one the required core clinical clerkships. During this course, students have extensive exposure to both the inpatient and outpatient practice of neurology. In Phase 3 of the curriculum, students can select a month-long advanced clinical rotation (ACR) in either adult or pediatric neurology. They can also select shorter or more flexible electives in neurology or certain subspecialties of neurology. Various neurology-related keystone integrated science courses (KISCs) are also offered.
For more information about the Department of Neurology, please visit the department website.
Neurology Research Electives
During the fourth year, opportunities exist for many varieties of advanced clinical or research experiences.
Beau Ances, MD
Taylor Avenue Building Extension, 2nd Floor
Neuroimaging of neurodegenerative disorders. Students can work in a neuroimaging laboratory that is focused on the translational discovery of neuroimaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases. The laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. We are investigating the effects of neurodegenerative diseases on the brain network level using functional (blood oxygen level dependent imaging, arterial spin labeling), structural (volumetrics, diffusion tensor imaging), and metabolic (PET amyloid and tau) methods. Multiple projects that involve bioengineering, neuroimaging and infectious disease are available, depending on the interest of the student.
Randall Bateman, MD
Diagnostic tests, biomarkers, and pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurologic diseases. This research elective will expose the student to translational research in the study of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The student will participate in multiple areas of the research, including participant recruitment, consent, enrollment and the performance of clinical research studies to discover and develop diagnostic tests and biomarkers and to understand the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Lumbar puncture for cerebrospinal fluid sample collection, blood collection and intravenous labeling methods will be demonstrated and taught. The student will participate in sample analysis, including processing for mass spectrometry quantitation, proteomic analyses, clinical analyses including determining sensitivity and specificity of tests, and application to real-world populations including diverse clinical cohorts led by the PI (SEABIRD) and the SILQ Center. Quantitation, analysis and modeling of the data will be taught in the context of data interpretation and clinical study design. The student will learn about how clinical tests and treatments are developed in medicine, advancing the leading edge of advanced medical diagnosis and treatment.
Anne H. Cross, MD, and Laura Piccio, MD, PhD
McMillan, 3rd Floor
Phone: 314-747-4591 or 314-747-0405
Understanding interactions of the immune system with the central nervous system as it relates to multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological disorders. Our goal is to understand how immune cells cross the blood-brain barrier and initiate the cascade of events that leads to the lesions of multiple sclerosis. We are also funded to study the effects of diet and adipokines on neuroinflammation. Depending on the time commitment of the student and their individual interests and goals, they will either assist with ongoing projects or be given a laboratory project on which to work. Projects may involve animal models of multiple sclerosis, cell culture or studies of human samples (cerebrospinal fluid, blood or autopsied specimens). Interested students should contact Dr. Cross or Dr. Piccio several weeks in advance before signing up for this research to allow for sufficient planning.
Joel S. Perlmutter, MD
East Building, 2nd Floor
Pathophysiology of movement disorders. The lab is primarily interested in the etiology, pathophysiology and treatment of basal ganglia disorders. We have several studies of Parkinson disease (PD). We are testing new drugs that might rescue injured nigrostriatal neurons (a model of PD) with the potential to slow the progression of PD. For these, we use PET to measure dopamine and related pathways and to quantify motor behavior. We also have an active program developing and validating neuroimaging biomarkers for PD and for determining the integrity of the nigrostriatal pathway that includes studies in human and animal models of PD. In addition, we have an active program that combines a variety of approaches to develop biomarkers and investigate the pathophysiology of dementia associated with PD. We use PET to measure radioligand binding in PD and dystonia. We use PET to investigate drug-mediated pathways and inflammatory responses in the brain and to parse out the effects of potential therapeutic interventions. We also develop and implement MR-based methods including diffusion tensor imaging and resting-state functional connectivity to investigate the brain mechanisms underlying PD and dystonia.
Brad A. Racette, MD
McMillan, 9th Floor
Our lab is primarily interested in environmental risk factors associated with Parkinson's disease. We use a variety of techniques to study these risk factors, including traditional field epidemiology, in which we evaluate workers exposed to metals in the United States and residents living near a smelter in South Africa; neuroimaging, in which we study the pathophysiology of toxin-mediated parkinsonism; geographic information systems research, in which we associate environmental toxin exposures with the incidence and prevalence of Parkinson's disease in the United States and Finland; and neuropathologic studies, in which we evaluate manganese-exposed workers from South Africa. There are numerous opportunities available for students to be involved with any of these projects. Students will receive some clinical exposure as well to familiarize them with pertinent clinical syndromes.
Marcus E. Raichle, MD
East Building, 2nd Floor
This lab investigates in vivo brain hemodynamic, metabolic and functional studies of human cognition and emotion using cyclotron-produced isotopes and PET as well as fMRI in humans.
Gregory Wu, MD, PhD
McMillan, 3rd Floor
Understanding how immune responses are generated that target the central nervous system. Specifically, this lab studies antigen-presenting cell contributions to autoimmune animal models of multiple sclerosis. Our goal is to understand what cellular interactions are critical to the development of immune-mediated demyelination.
Visit online course listings to view offerings for M35 Neurol.
M35 Neurol 820 Neurology (Clinical Elective)
This four-week elective will be customized to include inpatient and outpatient experiences desired by WU students who have completed the WU Neurology Clerkship. Students may choose this elective to further improve their Neurology knowledge and skills. Students considering Neurology as a career may also desire additional exposure to supplement their prior clerkship experience. The elective is split into two 2-week rotations which may include: 1. Adult Inpatient General Service (with 1 clinic/week) 2. Adult Inpatient Stroke Service (with 1 clinic/week) 3. Adult Inpatient Consult Service (with 1 clinic/week) 4. Pediatric Neurology Consult Service (with 1 clinic/week) 5. Adult Neurology ICU (with 1 clinic/week) 6. Outpatient Clinics (with 8-10 clinics/week)
M35 Neurol 827A Inpatient Adult Clinical Neurology (Clinical Elective)
Special Elective in Adult Inpatient Clinical Neurology
M35 Neurol 830 Neuro-Oncology (Clinical Elective)
This elective provides an outpatient-oriented pediatric and adult neuro-oncology experience for fourth-year medical students. Students will: - attend multidisciplinary adult and pediatric neuro-oncology clinics and case conferences (tumor boards), - attend adult and pediatric radiation oncology clinics, - attend neuropathology brain tumor review, - participate in subspecialty brain tumor clinics, and - attend monthly brain tumor research conferences.
M35 Neurol 851 Clinical Aspects of Aging and Dementia (Clinical Elective)
This elective provides the opportunity to learn about clinical research and clinical care in healthy brain aging and dementia. Students are encouraged to contact the Course Directors (Dr. B. Joy Snider and/or Dr. John Morris) before the elective begins to discuss their interests, as this elective is customized based on student interests. This can be a two-week or four-week elective. Students can gain proficiency in interviewing techniques and in the neurologic examination of the geriatric patient, and are introduced to neuropsychology, neuropathology, biomarkers, neuroimaging, genetics, and other biomedical procedures important in the diagnostic evaluation of older adults. The Knight ADRC is an interdisciplinary group, so students have the opportunity to interact with physicians, nurse clinicians, psychologists, and social workers, and to explore the neuropsychology, neuropathology, biomarkers, neuroimaging, genetics, and other biomedical procedures used in the diagnosis of dementing disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementias, cerebrovascular disorders, and affective disorders.
M35 Neurol 859 Neonatal Neurology (Clinical Elective)
The Neonatal Neurology elective will consist of a combination of inpatient and outpatient experiences designed to provide medical students with comprehensive exposure to the field. Through the rotation, students will actively participate in all aspects of patient care, acquiring the knowledge and skill necessary to effectively evaluate infants with neurological disorders, including encephalopathy, stroke, seizures, hypotonia, intraventricular hemorrhage, and periventricular leukomalacia, among others. Clinical activities will be tailored to fit the interests and goals of the individual student and include a combination of inpatient and outpatient exposures. Inpatient activities will occur in the St. Louis Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Unit as part of the Neonatal Neurology Consultation service. Outpatient activities will occur in the St. Louis Children's Hospital Outpatient Clinics. Students will also attend educational conferences specific to the field during the rotation, including Neonatal Neurology Clinical Conference and Neonatal Neuroradiology Conference.
M35 Neurol 860 Pediatric Neurology (Clinical Elective)
The senior elective experience in child neurology is designed to adapt to the individual goals and objectives of students. The elective takes place in one or two 2-week blocks that occur among five possible venues as chosen by the student: 1. Outpatient clinics, 2. Inpatient ward service, 3. Inpatient general consult service, 4. NICU consult service, and 5. Video EEG (VEEG) monitoring service. The combination of services and experiences will be arranged directly between the student and the Course Director prior to beginning the rotation. In the outpatient clinics, students will rotate between a variety of subspecialty clinics and work with a variety of attendings in order to experience the breadth of outpatient pediatric neurology. Students rotating on the inpatient ward service will have a different role than the third-year student on pediatrics. The fourth-year student will focus solely on neurology patients and work closely with the pediatric neurology resident to develop neurology-specific care plans. No call or weekend duties will be expected on this rotation. On the general consult services, students will work with the consult attending and pediatric neurology residents on that team to see consults in the PICU, CICU, ER, and other hospital floors. The NICU consult team focuses on infants in the NICU. Student rotating on the VEEG monitoring service will focus on learning the indications and uses of VEEG and basic EEG reading skills
M35 Neurol 861 Neurointensive Care Unit (Clinical Elective)
The student will be integrated into the Critical Care Team that provides care in the Neurology/Neurosurgery ICU. Diseases frequently encountered include intracerebral hemorrhage, head trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, stroke, spinal cord disease, and neuromuscular disease.. The student will follow patients, participate in rounds and pay participate in some procedures under supervision. Didactic sessions will be provided as conferences or lectures from the ICU attending and fellow.
M35 Neurol 865 Adult Epilepsy (Clinical Elective)
Students will learn how epileptologists diagnose and manage epilepsy in adults and children. They will learn how to use the history and physical exam and laboratory studies such as EEG, MRI, PET, and SPECT to diagnose and manage patients with new onset epilepsy, established epilepsy, and medically intractable epilepsy. They will become familiar with the medical management of epilepsy as well as the treatment options for medically intractable epilepsy including surgery, the vagus nerve stimulator, and the ketogenic diet. They will also learn how to manage the co-morbid conditions that accompany epilepsy such as depression, behavioral problems, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, and non-epileptic events. Students will accomplish these goals by attending epilepsy clinics and rounding on the inpatient epilepsy service with the epilepsy team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. They will attend the Adult Epilepsy Conference, the Pediatric Epilepsy Conference, and Neurology Grand Rounds. Students will also have the opportunity to observe epilepsy surgery if they wish. They will have the option to present one 15-30 minute talk on a topic relevant to epilepsy.
M35 Neurol 910 Neurology Advanced Clinical Rotation (ACR)
The Neurology Advanced Clinical Rotation (ACR) is a 4-week education experience for Phase III Gateway Medical Students offering graduated supervised responsibility for patient care in adult or pediatric Neurology. ACR Students can select a rotation on one of the following services: Inpatient General Adult Neurology (at Barnes-Jewish Hospital) Adult Stroke Neurology (at Barnes-Jewish Hospital) Inpatient General Pediatric Neurology (at St. Louis Children's Hospital) The ACR student will gain exposure to a wide variety of adult or pediatric neurologically affected patients. They will evaluate and treat patients with acute neurological disorders as well as those with acute/subacute presentations of chronic neurological disorders. The Neurology ACR rotation will give students increased exposure and autonomy in the care of Neurology patients and further increase their knowledge and experience in Neurological disorders. Under the supervision of a senior resident, chief resident and attending physician, the student will have supervised responsibility for their patients. The ACR student will perform a complete history and neurological examination on their new and follow-up patients and will independently establish a differential diagnosis and plan for their patients. When possible, they will have the opportunity to write orders and write admission notes, daily progress notes and discharge summaries. The ACR student will carry a sufficient number of patients to ensure adequate learning and experience. The number of patients assigned to the ACR student is determined by the complexity of the case, the clinical skills of the student and the total number of patients on the service. The ACR student will also attend departmental rounds and clinical conferences.
Credit 140 units.