Gut Lecture for Open Education Week

Lecture for Level 2 Biomedical Science/Healthcare Science Students
Wed 9th March 2016.

Gut Physiology Lecture
(Right click to download slides).

Thank you for the positive feedback on yesterday’s session. I particularly enjoyed the discussions we had around the socio-political aspects of science, and the inequality facing global health issues.

I hope providing you with an insight into science in different contexts – medical research and commercialisation of ideas – gave you insight into different career choices and exciting opportunities that are out there for you as scientists.

As I clearly said in the lecture, my focus was introducing you to three physiological processes and a basic introduction to the enteric nervous system. This is the important aspect for you to learn of course, but as lecturers in Higher Education we also have a responsibility to broaden your outlook in terms of globalisation and employability.

In the lecture one of you requested to look at one of my previous undergraduate student dissertations that looked at gut function in dementia. I’m presently contacting the student and awaiting their permission to share some of their work publicly with you.

For further discussion do contact me via Twitter @vivienrolfe or pop into my office 1A07.



You may have read media articles the day following our lecture describing research linking the intestinal system – oral cavity in this case – and declining cognition. This is only a small study but relevant to our discussions nonetheless.

The article is published in PLOS an truly open access journal which is doubly awesome.

Mark Ide et al (2016). Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease. PLOS.Org. Available:

Here are some of the media reports:
Gum disease linked to Alzheimer’s. BBC NEWS.
Brushing teeth regularly could ward off Alzheimer’s disease. TELEGRAPH.

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