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Clinical Research in Non-communicable Neurological Diseases

The general aim of the José Ferro Lab is to study the clinical epidemiology of diseases involving the nervous system. The work of the research group focuses on large samples and on prevalent, disabling, chronic CNS conditions such as dementia, stroke and Parkinson's disease. Our aim is to identify risk factors, including ecological and genetic ones, and prognostic factors that lead from an independent life to dependency or death, as well as the development and assessment of therapeutic interventions capable of delaying or preventing the transition from a healthy, independent state to disability and death. Measures of disability will include neurophysiological and quality of life dimensions.

The large samples of patients afflicted with such chronic conditions will offer a unique opportunity for detailed neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies, as well as the development and testing of cognitive neuropsychological models.

The Principal Investigators (PIs) are involved in joint projects such as the study of prognosis of neglect in stroke patients, neurocognitive changes in Parkinson's disease, validation of several neuropsychological instruments and use of common Clinical Trial Section.

Research Team

Alcina Fraga
Administrative Technician

Alexandre Mendonça
Clinical Staff Scientist

Ana Verdelho
Clinical Staff Scientist

Bruno Miranda
Clinical Researcher

Carla Bentes
Clinical Researcher

Carolina Maruta
Clinical Researcher

Catarina Fonseca
Clinical Researcher

Diana Sousa
PhD Student

Dina Silva
Visiting Researcher

Elisa Nunes
Lab Technician

Frederico Simões do Couto
Clinical Researcher

Gabriela Leal
Lab Technician

Isabel Pavão
Clinical Staff Scientist

Jorge Miguel Ferreira
Clinical Researcher

José Fonseca
Senior Technician

Lara Caeiro
Clinical Researcher

Luisa Albuquerque
Clinical Researcher

Luisa Pires
Administrative Technician

Manuela Guerreiro
Clinical Staff Scientist

Mariana Borges
Lab Technician

Marisa Costa
Administrative Technician

Mário Rodrigues
Lab Technician

Patrícia Canhão
Clinical Staff Scientist

Pedro Nascineto Alves
Clinical Researcher

Sandra Cardoso
Lab Technician

Teresa Pinho e Melo
Clinical Researcher

Marta Granadeiro

Research Areas

Clinical Neuropharmacology Group

Movement Disorders

Clinical trials

Drug Development


Cognitive Neuroscience Group


Cognitive Neuroscience

Portuguese Sign Language

Stroke Group


Vascular dementia / Vascular cognitive impairment

Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology of stroke

Cerebral venous thrombosis

Cardioembolic stroke

Dementia Group

Alzheimer's disease

Genomics of Complex Diseases Group




Parkinson's disease

Sleep-eeg Group




Behavioural Neurology Group

Aphasia (in adults and childhood)

Memory and Dementia


Recovery and recognition after brain lesions

Cognitive aspects of Epilepsy and DBS surgery

Pathology of Nervous System Group

Neuropathology of epilepsy surgery

Gliomas and glioneuronal tumours

Skin biopsies and polineurophaties

Obesity and muscle morphology

Ongoing Research Projects

Clinical Neuropharmacology Group

2000 European Multiple System Atrophy Study Group. Participation of Department of Neurology in the sub-studies of natural history, DNA study and dysautonomia (EMSA-SG [Proposal N°: QLRT – 2000 - -00661]).

2001 Movement Disorders Clinical Trial Unit.

2002 Characterization of the incidence, typology and determining factors of adverse drug reactions in hospitals.

2003 Development of measurement instruments usable in clinical trials focused on Movement Disorders.

2003 Advanced stage Parkinson's Disease: transversal study on a hospital-based population of patients with Parkinson's disease in an advanced stage in collaboration with the Movement Disorders Unit of Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain.

2005 "Avaliação do impacto na saúde das doenças neurológicas crónicas. Uma contribuição para a definição de resultados relevantes na perspectiva do doente e para a metodologia de avaliação dos serviços de saúde", FEDER and FCT.

EURO_HD, European. Huntington Consortium.

SLEEPMSA: Multicenter European study of the EMSA-SG (European MSA Study Group).

Cognitive Neuroscience Group

2008/2010 "Turma Piloto em Língua Gestual Portuguesa", Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Stroke Group

1998/2009 Impact of Age-related brain white matter changes on transition to disability in the elderly. Leukoaraiosis And DISability, Fifth (EC) Framework Programme 1998-2002 "Quality of life and management of living resourses" (QLK6-2000-00446).

2006/2010 Apatia na fase aguda do AVC e alteração da personalidade após o AVC, FCT (SFRH/BD/2282/2005)

Dementia Group

2007/2009 Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease: the Lipid Homeostasis / Oxidative Stress Connection. Collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Saúde Ricardo Jorge and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Astra-Zeneca.

2009/2011 Neuropsychological predictors of the outcome in non-demented subjects with cognitive complaints, FCT.

Genomics of Complex Diseases Group

2007/2010 "Genetic epidemiology of stroke in the post-genomic era", FCT (PTDC/SAU-GMG/64426/2006).

2007/2009 "microRnomics and proteomics of Parkinson's disease", FCT (PTDC/SAU-GMG/64428/2006).

Behavioural Neurology Group

2007/2010 Brain plasticity for language: evidence from aphasia in childhood, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (PTDC/PSI/74294/2006).

2005/2009 Cognition and ageing. Normative data on a sample of the Portuguese elderly population. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Project 0488).

Pathology of Nervous System Group

2008/2009 Gliomas malignos com longa sobrevida – caracterização genética e imunohistoquímica, Fundação AstraZeneca / FML.

2008/2009 Caracterização quantitativa do núcleo basolateral da amígdala na esclerose mesial, GAPIC.

2008/2009 Caracterização quantitativa do Gyrus Dentatus na esclerose mesial, GAPIC.

Selected Publications

Clinical Neuropharmacology Group

Emre M, Aarsland D, Alberto A., Byrne E J, Deuschl G, De Deyn Peter P, Durif F, Kulisevsky J, van Laar T, Lees A, M.D., Poewe W, Robillard A, Rosa MM, Wolters E, Quarg P, Tekin S, Lane R. (2004) Rivastigmine for Dementia Associated with Parkinson's Disease. N Engl J Med. 351(24): 2509-18.

Schrag A, Sampaio C, Counsell N, Poewe W. (2006) Minimal clinically important change on the unified Parkinson's disease rating scale. Mov Disord.; 21(8): 1200-7.

Costa J, Borges M, David C, Vaz-Carneiro A. (2006) Efficacy of Lipid-Lowering Drug Therapy for Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Patients: a Meta-analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. British Medical Journal; 13 (332): 1115-24.

Vellas B, Andrieu S, Sampaio C, Wilcock G (2007) European Task Force group. Disease-modifying trials in Alzheimer's disease: a European task force consensus. Lancet Neurol.;6(1): 56-62.

Silveira-Moriyama L, Guedes LC, Kingsbury A, Ayling H, Shaw K, Barbosa ER, Bonifati V, Quinn NP, Abou-Sleiman P, Wood NW, Petrie A, Sampaio C, Ferreira JJ, Holton J, Revesz T, Lees AJ. (2008) Hyposmia in G2019S LRRK2-related parkinsonism: clinical and pathologic data. Neurology. 71(13): 1021-6.

Cognitive Neuroscience Group

Castro-Caldas, A., Miranda, P., Carmo, I., Reis, A., Leote, F., Ribeiro, C. & Ducla-Soares, E. (1999) Influence of learning to read and write on the morphology of the Corpus Callosum. European Journal of Neurology, 6: 23-28.

Petersson K.M., Reis A., AskelÖf S., Castro-Caldas A., Ingvar M. (2000) Language processing modulated by literacy: A network-analysis of verbal repetition in literate and illiterate subjects. J. Cognitive Neuroscience, 12: 364-382.

Martins IP, Castro-Caldas A, Townes BD, Ferreira G, Rodrigues P, Marques S, Rosebaum G, Benton TS, Leitao J, Derouen T.; (2005) Age and Sex Differences in Neurobehavioral Performance: A Study of Portuguese Elementary School Children; International Journal of Neuroscience, 115; 1687-1709.

DeRouen, T.; Martin, M.; Leroux, B.; Townes, B.; Leitão, J.; Woods, J.; Castro Caldas, A.; Luís, H.; Bernardo, M.; Rosenbaum, G.; Martins, I.; (2006) Neurobehavioral Effects of Dental Amalgam in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA, 295:15.

Rascol O, Dubois B, Castro-Caldas A, Senn S, Del Signore S, Lees A; (2006) Parkinson REGAIN Study Group Early piribedil monotherapy of Parkinson's disease: A planned seven-month report of the REGAIN study, Mov Disorders, Dec; 21: 2110-5.

Castro-Caldas A., Nunes MV., Maestú F., Ortiz T., Simões R., Fernandes R., La Guia E.,Garcia E., Gonçalves M, (2009) Learning orthography in adulthood: a magnetoencephalographic study; Journal of Neuropsychology, Volume 3, Part 1, p 17-30.

Stroke Group

Inzitari D, Simoni M, Pracucci G, Poggesi A, Basile AM, Chabriat H, Erkinjuntti T, Fazekas F, Ferro JM, Hennerici M, Langhorne P, O'Brien J, Barkhof F, Visser MC, Wahlund LO, Waldemar G, Wallin A, Pantoni L; LADIS Study Group. (2007) Risk of rapid global functional decline in elderly patients with severe cerebral age-related white matter changes: the LADIS study. Arch Intern Med 167: 81-88.

Bousser MG, Ferro JM.(2007) Cerebral venous thrombosis: an update.Lancet Neurol 6: 162-170.

Einhäupl K, Bousser MG, de Bruijn SF, Ferro JM, Martinelli I, Masuhr F, Stam J. (2006) EFNS guideline on the treatment of cerebral venous and sinus thrombosis. Eur J Neurol 13: 553-559.

Canhão P, Ferro JM, Lindgren AG, Bousser MG, Stam J, Barinagarrementeria F; ISCVT Investigators. (2005) Causes and predictors of death in cerebral venous thrombosis. Stroke 36: 1720-1725.

Pantoni L, Basile AM, Pracucci G, Asplund K, Bogousslavsky J, Chabriat H, Erkinjuntti T, Fazekas F, Ferro JM, Hennerici M, O'brien J, Scheltens P, Visser MC, Wahlund LO, Waldemar G, Wallin A, Inzitari D. (2005) Impact of age-related cerebral white matter changes on the transition to disability -- the LADIS study: rationale, design and methodology. Neuroepidemiology 24: 51-62.

Genomics of Complex Diseases Group

Oliveira SA, Li YJ, Noureddine MA, Züchner S, Qin XJ, Pericak-Vance MA, Vance JM. (2005) Identification of risk and age-at-onset genes on chromosome 1p in Parkinson disease. American Journal of Human Genetics 77:252-64.

Oliveira SA, Scott WK, Zhang FY et al. (2004) Linkage disequilibrium and haplotype tagging polymorphisms in the Tau H1 haplotype. Neurogenetics 5: 147-155.

Li Y-J, Oliveira SA, Xu P et al. (2003) Glutathione S-Transferase omega 1 modifies age-at-onset of Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. Human Molecular Genetics 12:3259-3267.

Oliveira SA, Scott WK, Nance MA et al. (2003) Association study of Parkin gene polymorphisms with idiopathic Parkinson disease. Archives of Neurology 60:975-980.

Oliveira SA, Scott WK, Martin ER et al. (2003) Parkin mutations and susceptibility alleles in late-onset Parkinson disease. Annals of Neurology 53:624-629.

Sleep-eeg Group

Bentes C, Pimentel J, Costa J, Santos R, Rolo V. (2008) Ictal singing: case report and reappraisal of the literature. Epileptic Disorders, Vol. 10, Nº 2:113-118 .

Mestre T, Bentes C, Pimentel J. (2008) Ictal eructation: a case report. Epileptic Disorders. 10(2):170-2.

Behavioural Neurology Group

Martins, I.P., Gil-Gouveia, R., Antunes, J.L (2005). Double dissociation between autonomic symptoms and pain in cluster headache. Cephalagia, 25 (5), 389-400.

De, Rouen, T.A., Martin, M.D., Leroux, B.G., Townes, B.D., Woods, J.S., Leitao, J., Castro-Caldas, A., Luis, H., Bernardo, M., Rosenbaum, G., Martins, I.P. (2006). Neurobehavioral effects of dental amalgam in children: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 295 (15), 1784-9.

Martins, I.P., Gouveia, R.G., Parreira, E. (2006) Kinesiophobia in migraine. J Pain. Jun; 7 (6), 445-51.

Martins, I.P., Farrajota, L. (2007). Proper and common names: a double dissociation. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1744-1756.

Lauterbach, M., Martins, I.P., Garcia, P., Cabeça, J., Ferreira, A.C., Willmes, K. (2008) The Portuguese version of the Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14, 1-11.

group leader :
José Ferro