2023-2024 / PSYC5886-1

Senescence physiology, part 1


20h Th

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)2 crédits 


Philippe Kolh

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

After a general and epidemiologic introduction, each human system is addressed: basic aspects of normal physiology, followed by evolution throughout ageing. Are successively studied: cardio-vascular system, respiratory system, renal system, digestive system, immune system, endocrine system, and nervous system. The course being targeted to psychology students, the nervous system is more deeply studied. The overall care of the ageing patient is also covered, as well as the recent advances to understand ageing mechanisms.
Partim 1 encompasses general and epidemiologic introduction; mechanisms of ageing; ageing of cardio-vascular system; ageing of respiratory system; and ageing of the renal system.
  In more detail, Chapters I to V are structured as follows:

- Chapter I: general introduction:
   - definition of ageing; methods of studying senescence
- Chapter II: mechanisms of aging:
- introduction; aging of different cell populations; theories of molecular and cellular senescence; biological mechanisms of senescence; aging of effector organs; future prospects
- Chapter III: senescence of the cardiovascular system:
- physiological reminder: cardiac performance, heart rate, blood pressure regulation - baroreflex; morphological changes during aging; rhythm and conduction disturbances; changes in contractility; blood pressure regulation disorders; arterial hypertension; changes in blood cells
- Chapter IV: senescence of the respiratory system:
- physiological reminder: principles of ventilation, respiratory center; senescence of the ventilatory link; senescence of the alveolar-capillary link; senescence of the cardiovascular link (chapter III); nervous control of ventilation
- Chapter V: senescence of the renal system
- physiological reminder: nephron, concept of clearance; renal changes during senescence: morphological alterations, functional alterations, fluid and electrolyte balance, pathogenesis of altered renal function, kidney and drugs

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The objective of the course is to understand the physio-pathologic mechanisms of ageing, and their consequences on the human body

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Physiology of the nervous system (partims I and II), classes given in BAC 2.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Course given in reverse pedagogy: each chapter is prepared and presented (PPT support) by one or two student (s) with active discussion by the whole group.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face delivery

Recommended or required readings

Course syllabus, available on MyULg

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral examination with preparation time

Work placement(s)

No training

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

No remark


Pr Philippe Kolh
04/3668445 (secretary)

Association of one or more MOOCs