Disease Neurobiology


In this course we intend to deepen the study of cellular and molecular degenerative processes involved in the pathology of various nervous system diseases. In parallel, methods of diagnosis will be approached, with particular emphasis on the concept of biomarker, as well as conventional therapies and drug development (''''from bench to marketplace'''').

It is expected that at the end of this course the students will have achieved the following general competences: i) to expose the mechanisms involved in the etiology and pathology of several nervous system diseases; iv) to identify and understand strategies and therapeutic targets for nervous system diseases; v) acquisition of research skills of recent literature on subjects taught, in order to exposure and critically discuss scientific works in the field.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Margarida Casal Ribeiro Castro Caldas Braga


Weekly - 4

Total - 30

Teaching language



Neurobiology previous frequency (offered to MGMB, 1st semester) - immediate admission.

Previous frequency of another discipline of Neurobiology / Cellular Neurobiology - contact the teacher Responsible; admission subject to approval by the teacher


Neuroscience. D Purves et al. 4th Ed.Sinauer Associates Inc Publishers, Sunderland, Massachusetts USA

Basic Neurochemistry. Molecular, cellular and medical aspects. Siegel et al. 6th Ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Principles of Neural Science, Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, USA, 2000

Molecular Cell Biology. Lodish et al. 7th Ed. WH Freeman & Company, NY, 2012

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al, 5th Ed. Garland Science, NY, 2007

 Scientific papers

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures using images and videos.

Participatory theoretical and practical classes that stimulate scientific curiosity, critical thinking and discussion of results and research strategies.

Evaluation method


 A) Frequency in the discipline:


1. To obtain the frequency to discipline students must attend at least 2/3 of the theoretical-practical classes taught. Attendance at TP classes is recorded on attendance sheets.

2. The absences are marked 10 minutes after the beginning of the classes P (15h20m), however the student can choose to attend the class.

3. Certificates and other valid justifications for absences will only be accepted if delivered to class of the week immediately after the day of absence.

4. Student workers, and other exceptional cases, who do not attend TP classes should carry out an assessment (to be agreed with the teacher) to obtain attendance to the discipline.

 Students who do not attend the course will not have a valid grade in any of the assessment components.


B) Evaluation in the discipline

 B.1) Evaluation Rules

The final grade of the course (scale from 0 to 20) results from the sum of the grades of the 2 components of the evaluation:

 i) Evaluation of the theoretical / practical component (75% = 15 points).

Carrying out a written work on a neurodegenerative disease of the students'' choice (group) consisting of 2 parts:

. Disease study models: cellular or animal; advantages and disadvantages of models. What is the appropriate (or future) model for the study of this disease?

. Scientific mini-project involving fundamental or biomedical research on the chosen neurodegenerative disease. The project must involve the disease model (s). Work plan for 2 years, with 3-4 tasks and 100,000 euros.


ii) Project evaluation (25% = 5 points).

Oral group presentation of the scientific mini-project, focusing on the chosen models (with advantages and disadvantages) and the proposed strategies.

At the end of each presentation there will be a discussion with all students, which is expected to be participatory.

 The rules for the elaboration of the written assignments will be provided in attached documents at the beginning of the semester.

The work should be done in groups of 2 to 3 students.

The written assignments must be sent by e-mail to the teacher. Papers may be submitted before this date, but if submitted after this deadline will be penalized 50% of the grade if delivered within 2 business days following the deadline. They will not be accepted after this deadline.

 There will be no evaluation by tests or exam.


Missing evaluation days:

. The date of the work is disclosed at the beginning of the classes and there is no alternative date (s), nor repetition of any of the evaluation moments.

 . All information is available at CLIP (Disease Neurobiology).

. The specific evaluation criteria of the evaluation components are disclosed in the first class and made available in CLIP and in the course''s "moodle" page.


B.2) Conditions for obtaining Approval

Have frequency and have a rating equal to or higher than 7.5 / 15 values ​​in the evaluation of the theoretical / practical component (written work); have a final grade resulting from the sum of the 2 evaluation components equal to or greater than 9.5.



Realization of the theoretical-practical component of the course - only written work, according to the same rules established in the Normal Season. It is not possible to give oral presentations in Feature Season.

 Grade improvement

It is only possible to improve the component of the written work (15 val). The deadline for submitting the new assignment is the beginning of the Feature Season (date to be agreed with interested students).

Subject matter

1. Brief historical perspective on the knowledge of the neural function. Methods for studying the neural function: ACT, MRI,. FMRI, SPECT, PET. Association lesion/function and activation/function. Paradigmatic cases.

2. Neurodegenerative diseases: general principles and models. Definition of therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases.

3. Neuroinflammation.

4. Etiology and neuropathology of Parkinson''s disease.

5. Etiology and neuropathology of Alzheimer''s disease

6. Etiology and neuropathology of multiple sclerosis

7. Etiology and neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Programs where the course is taught: