I obtained a B.Sc. degree in “Speech and Language Therapy” in 2012 at the University of Milan and I enriched my theoretical background completing a one-year post lauream master course in Aphasiology at “Casa di Cura Privata del Policlinico” of Milan and a B.Sc. in “Psychological Sciences” in 2018 at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
I worked as speech and language therapist in the Neurorehabilitation/ALS Center of the Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri IRCCS in Milan from 2012 to 2020, developing clinical expertise on neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. I tutored SLT students for their professional training and I was Adjunct Professor of Cognitive Functions for Physiotherapy students.
I completed my Master Degree in “Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology across the Life Span” in 2020 at the University of Milano-Bicocca, discussing a meta-analysis on the role of the affective valence in the language elaboration of isolated words. Currently I am a Ph.D. student in “Clinical Neuroscience” at the School of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Milano-Bicocca.
Under the supervision of Prof. Romero Lauro, my research project aims at providing new insights on cortical excitability and connectivity in patients with motor neuron disease by means of TMS-EEG to find new biomarkers for motor and non-motor symptoms useful to shed light on the feasibility of applying non-invasive brain stimulation techniques in this population.
Brain excitability and connectivity in ALS: new biomarkers for motor and non-motor symptoms.
- Curriculum: Clinical Neuroscience
- Supervisor: Prof. Leonor J. Romero Lauro
Despite increasing recognition of ALS as a multisystem network disorder characterized by impaired connectivity, further studies are needed to assess more precisely the extent of changes in cortical excitability and inhibitory function and to provide further insight into the establishment of cortical hyperexcitability in ALS patients. Several techniques have been used to clarify these potential alterations, without providing conclusive results. The present project aims to provide new knowledge on brain excitability and alteration of cortical connectivity in ALS patients by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG). Furthermore, this project aims at integrating this information with structural and functional MRI data analysis, neuropsychological and clinical evaluation.
TMS-EEG might represent a novel and powerful approach to detect ALS degeneration at earlier stages of the disease, specifically assessing upper motor neuron (UMN) degeneration, brain changes outside M1, and cerebral network reorganization associated with the disease. Such alterations can be used as an objective brain-based biomarker to improve the diagnosis at an early stage, allowing to clarify the pathophysiology underpinnings of the disease, enhancing the impact of compensation and rehabilitation strategies on these patients and in turn allowing the development of therapeutic agents. Moreover, providing evidence on the cortical origin of hyperexcitability could pave the way to non-invasive brain stimulation, such as repetitive TMS or Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), as adjuvant treatment.
Considering that early diagnosis and intervention of ALS are central to slowing disease progression, the results might have a significant impact on ALS diagnosis and treatment, improving patients’ quality of life.
- Aiello E.N., Feroldi S., Preti A.N., Zago S., Appollonio I.M. (2021). Dysgraphic features in motor neuron disease: a review. Aphasiology; 1-26.
- Moretta P., Lanzillo A., Sapio M.D.L., Spaccavento S., Cellamare F., Nisoli F., Ianni A., Pain D., Feroldi S., […], Trojano L. (2021). The Italian validation of the Communicative Effectiveness Index Questionnaire: a multicentric study. Neurological Sciences 42 (6), 2283-2290.
- Pizzorni N, Ginocchio D, Bianchi F, Feroldi S, Vedrodyova M, Mora G, Schindler A. (2020). Association between maximum tongue pressure and swallowing safety and efficacy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurogastroenterology & Motility 32 (8), e13859.
- Zuin A., Ginocchio D., Savarè M., Feroldi S., Merlo A., Mauri I., Piacentini V., Schindler A. (2013). La qualità di vita nel paziente disartrico. In Disartria. Possiamo fare di più? Relazione Ufficiale XLVII Congresso Nazionale della Società Italiana di Foniatria e Logopedia a cura di Ruoppolo G. & Amitrano A. (pp. 85-92). Omega Edizioni.
Abstracts e proceedings
- Feroldi S., Bianchi F., Gasperoni C., Ginocchio D., Lauria G., Dalla Bella E., Mora G. (2017, 8-10 December; Boston). Dysphagia and dysarthria in facial onset sensory motor neuronopathy (FOSMN) syndrome: a case report. [Poster session abstract]. 28th International Symposium on ALS/MND.
- Feroldi S., Ginocchio D., Lunetta C., Sansone V., Schindler A. (2015, May 8-9; Firenze). Relationship between dysarthria and quality of life in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [Oral communication abstract]. 9th European CPLOL Congress.
- Orcid profile: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6986-5940
- ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah-Feroldi
- Google Scholar profile: https://scholar.google.it/citations?hl=en&user=icTYx6AAAAAJ