Course Identification

Brain immunity in health, neurodegenerative diseases, and mental dysfunction

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Prof. Michal Schwartz , Dr. Michal Arad

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Thursday, 14:15 - 16:00, FGS, Rm C

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Life Sciences: Lecture; Elective; 1.00 points
Life Sciences (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Track): 1.00 points
Life Sciences (Brain Sciences: Systems, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Track): 1.00 points


Please note a special starting date of first lecture (May 17, 2018). This will be a half course.
* No lecture on 28/6/2018
* The 2 last lectures:
Monday, July 2nd- 8:45- 11:15
Thursday, July 5th- 13:45- 16:15





Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



Brief summary of items that will be covered in the course:

  • General introduction to the relationships between the brain and the blood: The blood brain barrier and blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier structural and functional relationships.
  • General introduction to the brain as an immune privileged site.
  • Brief summary of the cellular composition of the brain and the interplay among the interacting cell types.
  • The diversity of innate immunity within and outside the brain, during ontogeny and in adulthood.
  • Cellular and molecular aspects of central nervous system regeneration processes: From the cell to the organism, from salamanders to humans.
  • Life-long cell renewal in the adult brain- neurogenesis, and gliogenesis: Mechanisms of control, and implications for cognition, coping with stress, and depression.
  • The role of immunity in brain protection and repair.
  • Immunological aspects of brain aging.
  • Immunity and resilience to stress.
  • Lessons from cancer relevance to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • Immunotherapy for brain dysfunctions

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Brain Immunology.
  2. Discuss the role of the immune system in brain plasticity (cell renewal from neural stem cells, cognition and coping with stress) and what gets awry in brain aging and dementia.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of basic aspects of brain immunity under stress, post-traumatic stress disorders, and depression.
  4. Have a basic aspect of central nervous system healing and the missing link in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases and ALS.
  5. Know If and how the immune system controls onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Reading List