2023-2024 / PSYC5887-1

Senescence physiology, part 2


10h Th

Number of credits

 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)1 crédit 


Philippe Kolh

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


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 2 encompasses ageing of the immune system; ageing of the endocrine system; ageing of the nervous system; consequences of prolonged bed rest on health; and the global care of the ageing patient.
In more detail, Chapters VI to X are structured as follows:

- Chapter VI: senescence of the endocrine system
- physiological reminder: hypothalamic-pituitary system, neurohormones, neurohypophysial hormones, adenohypophysial hormones, phospho-calcium metabolism hormones, hormones regulating glycemia; senescence and endocrine function: neurohypophysial hormones, adenohypophysial hormones, phospho-calcium balance hormones, diabetes; menopause

- Chapter VII: senescence and immunity

- terminology; structure of antibodies; cellular immunity and humoral immunity; lymphoid tissues; formation of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes; T lymphocytes and cellular immunity; B lymphocytes and humoral immunity; autoimmunity; aging of cell-mediated immunity; aging of humoral-mediated immunity; diseases associated with immune deficiency
- Chapter VIII: senescence of the central nervous system
- structural and functional modifications: structural modifications, cerebral circulation and metabolism, neurotransmitters, conclusions; cerebrovascular disorders: ischemic attacks, cerebral hemorrhages, clinical manifestations; minor pyschological disorders: cognitive functions, effects of age on memory function, conclusions, individual variability and decline in cognitive abilities; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson disease.
Chapter IV: consequences of prolonged bed rest
- physiological adaptations to bed rest; effects of prolonged bed rest; bed rest complications
- Chapter X: consequences of retirement on health
- rupture theory; continuity theory; individual variability

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 (parts I & 2) - classes given in BAC 2

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Inverse pedagogy - for each chapter, one or two students prepare(s) the material. The presentation to the group is interactive with discussions and examples of clinical cases

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

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.

Recommended or required readings

Course syllabus, available on MyULg

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral examination with preparatory time

Work placement(s)

No training

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

No remark


Pr Philippe Kolh
04/3668445 (secretary)

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