Ageing cognition #AC

September 20 to October 9 (2021)

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this course has been rescheduled (initially planned on September 2020)

The normal aging process is associated with reduced performance on cognitive tasks that require one to quickly process or transform information to make a decision, including measures of speed of processing, executive cognitive function, working and relational memories. Structural and functional alterations in the brain correlate with these age-related cognitive changes, such as loss of synapses, and dysfunction of neuronal networks. It is crucial to develop new approaches that consider the whole neuroanatomical, endocrine, immunological, vascular and cellular changes impacting on cognition.

This 3-week course will cover the fundamentals of cognitive aging -including inter-individual differences, cognitive and brain reserve and risk factors- and highlight the newest functional imaging methods to study human brain function. The Faculty will share the state-of-the-art molecular, optical, computational, electrophysiological, behavioural and epidemiological approaches available for studying the aging brain in diverse model systems. The Students will learn the potential and limitations of these methods, through practical experience in a combination of lectures addressing aging in both humans and animal models and hands-on-projects. They will acquire sufficient practical experience to model, design and interpret experiments and brainstorm on novel technologies and hypotheses to explore the aging of the brain using more integrative and creative approaches.

Course director & co-directors

  • Luisa Lopes (Instituto de Medicina Molecular Lisboa, Portugal)
  • Cheryl Grady (The Rotman Research Institute, Canada)
  • Nora Abrous (Bordeaux Neurocampus, France)

Cláudia Guimas Almeida (Nova University Lisbon, Portugal)
Nicolas Blin (Bordeaux Neurocampus, France)
Joana Coelho (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Nuno Morais (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Paula Pousinha (Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, France)
Miguel Remondes (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Azza Sellami (Bordeaux Neurocampus, France)

  • Project 1: Is lysosome dysfunction a mechanism of synapse aging?
  • Project 2: Physiological signatures of cognitive aging
  • Project 3: Recording neuronal activity on hippocampal slices from aged mice
  • Project 4: Unveiling the transcriptomic signatures of human brain ageing
  • Project 5: In vivo optogenetic to manipulate adult neurogenesis
  • Project 6: Microglia phenotyping in aged animals
  • Project 7: Inter-individual variability of declarative memory decline in healthy aging: a brain network analysis in mice on a radial-maze task.

Keynote speakers

Adam Antebi (Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Germany)
Carol Barnes (University of Arizona, USA)
Luc Buée (Centre de Recherche Jean-Pierre Aubert, France)
Maria Llorens (Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa, Spain)
Lars Nyberg (Umeå University, Sweden)
Yaakov Stern (Columbia University, USA)