Essentials of Neurosciences for the MRCS Exam

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About the course

The basic sciences of Neurology and Neurosurgery are principal components of the MRCS syllabus and frequently included in the MRCS Part A and Part B examinations. This one-day intensive course provides the candidate with an opportunity to revisit the core knowledge in basic neurosciences in preparation for the exam. In addition, the course will be useful for those preparing for ST interviews and/or those considering a career in Neurosurgery.

The course is structured into three distinct formats to deliver key components of neurosciences as listed in the MRCS syllabus. The morning starts with interactive lectures covering key aspects of neurophysiology, such as intracranial pressure and cerebral autoregulation. Common neurosurgical pathologies such as subarachnoid haemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, hydrocephalus and common congenital malformations will be discussed. The morning will end with time spent teaching basic interpretation skills of CT scans and MRI scans. Early afternoon is spent in the dissection room covering the anatomy of the brain, circle of Willis, vertebral column and pathologies of the brain and spinal cord. Prosected specimens would be used to demonstrate the salient anatomical features during this small-group teaching session.

Clinical skills will be taught and demonstrated during the late afternoon. The faculty will perform a live demonstration of the cranial nerve examination and discuss the important techniques. Every candidate will be given time to perform a critiqued cranial nerve, cerebellar, and upper/lower limb neurological examination. There will be a session to run-though the basic skills in performing a lumbar puncture and a discussion about burr holes, craniotomy and craniectomy. A neurosciences quiz at the end of the day will give each candidate an idea of his/her progress and learning needs. There will be an award for the candidate with the highest number of correct answers.


  • Circle of Willis
  • Ventricles
  • Cerebral lobes
    • Sulci and gyri
    • Frontal/Parietal/Temporal/Occipital
  • Cerebellum
  • Brainstem 
  • Skull base anatomy
  • Meninges and dural venous sinuses
  • Vertebral column anatomy
  • Spinal cord anatomy, blood supply
  • Intracranial pressure: Monroe-kellie doctrine
  • Cerebral Perfusion Pressure /Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral Autoregulation
  • CSF physiology
  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage and aneurysms/AVM
  • Extradural haematoma
  • Subdural haematoma
  • Intraparenchymal haematoma
  • Intraventricular haemorrhage
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Neurogenic shock
  • Spinal shock
  • Cauda Equina syndrome
  • Conus Medullaris Syndrome
  • Vertebral column metastases
  • Epidural abscess / haematoma
  • Cranial Nerves
  • Upper and lower limb neurological examination
  • Cerebellum
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Burr holes / Craniotomy / Craniectomy explained
  • Interpretation of CT and CT angiogram


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