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Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson's Disease

Learn the fundamentals of Parkinson's disease with this online course. What causes it and what we can do to treat it?

63,031 enrolled on this course

Scan of the human brain being used to diagnose Parkinson's disease
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Understand Parkinson's Disease

This online course is aimed at anyone who wants to find out the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease. We will look at how Parkinson’s disease affects people; what causes it; what we can do to try to ameliorate the symptoms of Parkinson’s; and what we don’t yet know about it.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • Neurobiology of movement
  • Pathology of Parkinson’s disease
  • Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  • Treatments for Parkinson’s disease
  • Current research for Parkinson’s disease

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the key regions of the brain involved in movement control
  • Explain how disruption to basal ganglia function can lead to the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease
  • Investigate the rationale behind current areas of research
  • Apply a knowledge of the pathology of Parkinson's disease to explain how current therapies work
  • Explore some of the current areas of active research

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at anyone who wants to find out the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease.

You will need to have a basic knowledge of what the brain is made of, how these component cellular parts are organised and the principles of how these cells function normally. It will be suitable if you have taken the Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics course or who studied neuroscience in the early years of an undergraduate degree.

What do people say about this course?

"Thank you to Dr Alison Cooper for your very prompt and active support of us participants in this course. Thanks also to the many participants who contributed, and especially to the PD sufferers who openly and freely posted about their personal experiences. You gave this course a depth and authenticity that other courses rarely achieve."

"A very interesting course, well presented, very informative and with prompts for us to do some looking up of information ourselves. I found week 3 became a bit more technical and as a complete beginner I felt a bit out of my depth. However, I still managed to complete the quiz, almost all questions right first time so I must have learnt something! It was a really useful introduction to Parkinson's and the complexity of the human body. Thank you."

Who will you learn with?

Alison Cooper is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she teaches neuroscience and pharmacology.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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