12 Contact Hours

Occupational, physical, and speech therapists play a crucial role in helping people who have experienced brain damage (ex. stroke, head injury, cerebral palsy), spinal cord injury, birth defects, or neurological disease, regain function. The success of each case is dependent on the therapist's ability to fully understand the nervous system. This is the third in a series of four modules offered to "refresh" each clinician's understanding of the human nervous system. This module takes a closer look at the motor system (motor neurons) and its involvement in coordination, postural stability, and balance. Additional focus is on the peripheral nervous system and the spinal column and their contributions to mobility and basic life function. It is recommended that you read each module of the series in order, to achieve maximum benefit.


Joel Desotelle, MS OTR/L

Joel is an occupational therapist who specializes in neurological disorders in children and adults. He received his Bachelors of Science (B.S) degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College (Keuka Park, NY) in 1995 and his post-graduate Masters of Science (M.S.) degree from Misericordia University (Dallas, PA) in 2010. He holds a post-graduate certificate in pediatrics from Misericordia University (2006) and has worked in a variety of settings from out-patient pediatrics to in-patient adults. Joel is an experienced author and instructor who has presented on a wide range of topics including stroke rehab, neuromuscular disorders, autism, sensory dysfunction, dementia, falls, and outcomes-based therapy.

Course Text (required): Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, 3rd ed. (2007) written by Dr. Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PT, PhD. - Copyright 2007 Elsevier, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Audience: OT, PT

Skill Level: Intermediate

Contact Hours: 12

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA

Teaching Methods: Course content includes the text, "Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, 3rd ed. (2007)" written by Dr. Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PT, PhD with contributions by Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, PhD

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all learning activities/handouts and pass a final exam to receive credit.

Course Objectives:

At the completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic components of a skeletal muscle and how the muscle contracts to produce force;
  2. Identify each motor pathway and their relative function;
  3. Identify four common disorders caused by motor neuron lesions and discuss disorders of the lower motor and upper motor neurons;
  4. Describe how the basal ganglia and cerebellum influence movement;
  5. Describe three classifications of peripheral neuropathies and their impact on function;
  6. Describe seven disorders of the spinal region.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Please read the introduction to provide you with important information and tips about your course.

2. Course Objectives - (Module 3) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Motor System

Click to view course objectives.

3. Coursework - (Module 3) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Motor System

Click to view coursework. You must read and complete all activities to receive credit.

4. Course Final and Survey - (Module 3) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Motor System

To complete the this course, you must pass the final exam. You will not be able to access the final until all coursework is completed.


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion