Aging and Chronic Diseases III


a) Acquisition/development of general knowledge on chronic inflammation (CI)

b) Identify the pathophysiologic characteristics that distinguish chronic from acute inflammation and what are the main factors that may promote the evolution from one to the other.

c) Characterise the most important changes present in CI, with particular emphasis in the immune and metabolic responses, oxidation and apoptosis and cellular necrosis.

d) Identify the mechanisms that associate CI with aging at cellular, tissue and organ levels.

e) Identify particular aspects of CI in specific organs and its association with aging-related diseases (e.g. central nervous system and dementia, blood vessels and atherosclerosis, liver and fibrosis/cirrhosis)

f) Understand the possible therapeutic targets used to control CI, through the identification of direct and indirect pharmacologic mechanisms.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Duarte Barral


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, 12th edition, Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders/Elsevier, 2011 Inflammation: Basic Principles and Clinical Correlates, John I. Gallin, 3rd edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 1999

Fundamental Immunology, William Paul, 7th ed, Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2013

International journals in the areas of inflammation, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Teaching method

In this unit there will be:

a) Conferences on specific subjects

b) Wokshops on chapters of the program that may raise more controversy

c) Group and individual works/reports with the aim of reviewing particular areas of the subjects under discussion and the proposal of scientific hypotheses for a project in this field.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will include:

a) A synthesis work (group) to review a specific subject in this field (25% of the final grade)

b) An individual report proposing an hypothesis for a research project in this area (25% of the final grade)

c) Multiple choice test (25% of the final grade)

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

Subject matter

a) Molecular and cellular basis of chronic inflammation

b) Regulation of chronic and acute inflammatory response

c) Main components of the inflammatory response: immune system, metabolism, oxidative stress and cellular death

d) Principles and common pathways of chronic inflammation and aging

e) Examples of chronic inflammation: Alzheimer┬┤s disease and other dementias, atherosclerosis and organ fibrosis

f) Pharmacology of inflammation: Non-steroid anti-inflammatories, steroids, immunosuppressors and drugs with indirect effect on inflammation (statins, vitamins, renin-angiotensin blockers).


Programs where the course is taught: