Aging and Chronic Diseases I


The main goals of this curricular unit are:

1. To develop a general knowledge and concepts related to the process of ageing.

2. To characterize the biological mechanisms of ageing

3. To identify the physiopathology of ageing of different tissues and organs

4. To understand the cellular and molecular processes associated with the relationship of ageing and disease, such as neurodegenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory and cancer diseases.

5. To identify potential therapeutic strategies under the perspective of a personalized medicine in the elderly

6. To understand the socio-economic impact of ageing and the relevance of assisted-leaving technologies to the quality of life in the elderly.


The students should develop the skills that will allow the integration of knowledge and to perform interdisciplinary research projects.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Henrique Manuel Paixão dos Santos Girão


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





International scientific journals in the areas of molecular biology and biochemistry, psychology, economy, informatics. Selected papers from the journals: Neurobiology of Ageing, Mechanisms of Ageing and Disease and Ageing Cell.

Teaching method

In this curricular unit the following teaching methodologies will be used:

a) Advanced courses

b) Conferences on specific subjects

c) Wokshops on subjects in the program that may raise more controversy

d) Group and individual works/reports aiming to re-analyze particular areas of the subjects under discussion and the proposal of scientific hypothesis for a project in this field.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will include:

a) A synthesis work (group) and presentation of research papers focusing on a specific subject in this field (25% of the final grade)

b) An individual report proposing a hypothesis for a research project in this area (30% of the final grade)

c) Multiple choice test (20% of the final grade)

d) Continuous evaluation (25% of the final grade).

Subject matter

1. An interdisciplinary and integrative approach to ageing

2. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of ageing

3. Physiopathology of ageing and frailty in the elderly

4. Ageing as a risk factor to various pathologies: neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases and cancer

5. Memory alterations and cognitive decline in the elderly. The role of cognitive training

6. Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics as strategies in personalized medicine in the elderly

7. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacoepidemiology in ageing

8. Regenerative Medicine and anti-ageing strategies

9. Development of intelligent informatics monitoring systems in assisted-living

10. Psychosocial questions and psychotherapeutic interventions in the elderly

11. Economy of health in an aged society: research in health services and systems and quality of life of the elderly.


Programs where the course is taught: