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Educational goals

SENSORINEURAL PLASTICITY The mammalian nervous system is generated by complex genetic and epigenetic programmes that warrant the structure to be defined already at birth. This structure allows appropriate behavioural responses in order to guarantee survival and development. However, sensitive, motor, sensoriale and cognitive stimuli, through the interaction with the environment, play a role for defining the neural "circuits" after birth. These changes occur, according to what is known from decades, at synaptic level and imply a modification of the "strength" of the synaptic connection itself as a response to an internal/external trigger. In the last decade, a great deal of data has provided the evidence that the changes of the nervous tissue could also be structural in nature. It is well known, in fact, that new synapses may arise, other are eliminated, through a remodelling of nervous cells branching. Moreover, new cells and neurons may form. Altogether, these modifications are generically called plasticity, and include biochemical and structural modifications, and neurogenesis. Genetic, pharmacological and environmental factors may modulate this plasticity, through continuous updated cultural advances. The knowledge and the eventual exploitation of these mechanisms represent a clinical opportunity in the field of pharmacology, genetics, and motor and cognitive rehabilitation. A key point is represented by the recently-acquired concept that plasticity regards the entire individual lifespan, mainly during childhood but also up to some aspect of elderly. Environmental stimuli reach the cerebral structures via the sensory organs, that thus represent an ineludible tool to mediate sensations, perceptions, memory, speech, the cognitive and affective experiences that are expression of the brain function and, at the same time, nourish plasticity. It is the aim of the present PhD to study this phenomenon in depth in its different manifestations that are displayed in the neurological and psychiatric clinical practice, as well as in the various district of the Sensory Organs. The major and funding element of the present PhD programme will be based on interaction and integration of knowledges and expertise in the above mentioned disciplines, with a research project individualised for each PhD student in the selected field of application, on the ground of the most relevant aspect as they are derived from the international scientific literature, and on the evaluation of the feasibility of the study, considering timing and the clinical and research resources available. This training project further provides the opportunity that each PhD student could interact with national and international research institutions that will enable to acquire new theoretical, methodological and operational hints for each disciplinary core. The present PhD Programme includes different research cores, as reported below. The core of the first curriculum in Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology and Neuropsychiatric rehabilitation includes the interdisciplinary study of the neurobiological, mental (cognition, conscience, memory, thought, learning) and psychical (affectiveness, empathy) processes that underlye the main brain functions and their behavioural sequels. This issue will be studied and analysed on the light of the more recent knowledges in the field of neuroplasticity and of their application in the neuropsychiatric field. More specifically, every PhD student will utilise the methodologies of the own scientific specialty, integrating them with diagnostic and eseqrch tools taken from the associated disciplines. Regardless of the specialistic area, this core aims at creating researchers able to face the present needs in the neuropsychiatric area, in different strategic fields. The main and funding element of this core will be the integration of knowledge and expertise in neuroscience, neuroradiology, genetics, neuropsychiatric rehabilitation, psychometry, psychopharmacology and molecular biology. The core of the second curriculum regards the study of the various sensorial functions in correlation with the cognitive impairment that characterises senile dementia. In particular, a new database will be created with “new” patients afferent to the neurological outpatient clinic with different degree of disease, in whom appropriate and sophisticated diagnostic providers will be applied for the study of hearing and balance functions, as well as of the visual function. The study will be also based on a series of standardised questionnaires that will allow to categorise the different populations according to stage of disease. The core in Plastic-Dermatologic Microsurgery will imply to carry out a thorough, interdisciplinary study of structure and ultrastructure of the skin and sensorineural receptors, as well as to extend it to the neurobiological processes underlying the mechanoceptive sensitivity (tactile static 2p, 1p, when moving, etc.), the thermal sensitivity (hit-cold), the painful and erogen sensitivity, taking also in consideration their consequences in the social life. Particular emphasis will be given to the study of degenerative sensitive impairments following surgery or trauma. The study will be performed according to the recent scientific literature on cutaneous and mucosal sensitivity. More specifically, every PhD student will use the methodology proper for his/her specific specialty, while integrating them with the diagnostic and research tools of the associated branches. Regardless of the selected field of study, this core aims at creating researchers who will be able to face the present needs in the different strategic areas of plastic surgery and dermatology. The integration of knowledges and expertise in those areas, and in pharmacodynamics, neurobiology and molecular biology will be the main and funding element of the present core. The core of Sleep disorders and cranio-facial development will consider to study the development and growth processes of the craniofacial structures that warrant a proper performance of several neurobiological functions, such as intellectual development, respiration, swallowing, hearing, as a well as a physiological sleep. The study will take advantage from the most recent advancements on the neurodevelopment of the behavioural cognitive functions, on the respiratory function as upper and lower airways, on speech, swallowing and sleep from newborn to adolescent. Since the neonatal period it will be evaluated through appropriate methods the developmental steps of the cranio-facial structures and its associated functions. The present profile will receive a fundamental contribution by the interaction of several disciplines, including neonatology, pediatrica, Otorhinolaryngology, maxillo-facial surgery and pediatric neuropsychiatry, with specific experts on sleep disorders in childhood.

Exam - Oral

Giorno: 22/9/2020 Ora: da definire Aula: da definire in seguito Indirizzo: da definire in seguito

Tests - Evaluation of qualifications

Giorno: 15/9/2020



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