Mechanisms of Neurological Disease

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
17 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The complex three-dimensional structure and the function of a protein are intimately linked. However, as a consequence of folding inefficiency, environmental stress, genetic mutation, and/or infection, the folded structure of a protein can become altered causing loss of the normal protein function, toxic gain of function, or dominant negative effects. The proteins involved in all of these disorders, the structural changes taking place, as well as the quality control systems used to cope with protein misfolding, will be covered. Finally, the module will investigate new therapies that are under development to treat protein misfolding and related diseases.

Module aims

In this module the molecular and biochemical basis of protein folding and misfolding, loss of protein function and the connection of these events to disorders such as the prion diseases, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Retinitis Pigmentosa, will be explored.

Module learning outcomes

To pass this module students will need to be able to:

1. discuss and explain the key processes involved in protein folding and misfolding, and explain how they are linked to disease
2. discuss and explain the unifying mechanism by which amyloid forms
3. discuss and explain Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases and related dementias and understand and describe the key factors involved in each of their pathologies
4. discuss and explain how misfolding of membrane proteins is involved in disease.
5. discuss and explain the therapeutic strategies being developed to address protein misfolding based diseases.

Module information

Listen Again:
The School has a policy which ensures all lecturers opt-in to making lectures available via Listen Again. Therefore, in teaching rooms where the facility is available, lectures will be recorded via this service.

Plagiarism is a serious offence and all students suspected of plagiarism will be subject to an investigation. If found guilty, penalties range from a formal warning to permanent withdrawal from the university (see Academic offences procedures).
If you are uncertain about how to reference your work take a look at the Moodle course on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism or speak to your Module Supervisor or Tutor.

Learning and teaching methods

18 x 1 hour lectures, plus 1 revision class before summer exam. Specific details will be listed in the module handbook.


  • Lodish, Harvey F. (2016) Molecular cell biology, New York, NY: Freeman W.H.
  • Molecular Cell Biology - Online resources,

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
0% 100%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Mike Hough, email:
Dr Mike Hough, Dr Phil Reeves
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 19 (95%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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