"As a pre-medical student eager to enter the medical world, I wanted to engage in the field and contribute to it as much as I could. This program was the perfect opportunity to explore neurology and research methodology at the same time. For this academic year, I want to graduate with a Health Science degree, be as involved as possible, and pave my way into medical school."
Apraxia in Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment, Degenerative Neurological Disorders, and Parkinson's Disease.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Dean's List (2009-2010)
- Alpha Epsilon Delta
- Teaching Assistant
Camp Boggy Creek Haven Hospice Peer Mentoring.
Hobbies and Interests
- Reading, dancing, music, and soccer.
Conceptual Apraxia in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease
The scope of this study is to learn how different types of knowledge are affected in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). aMCI is a condition in which patients develop memory impairment, but in contrast to dementia, patients with aMCI are still able to complete their daily activities. Because patients with aMCI have an increased risk of developing AD, some patients with aMCI may have the first stage of AD, and it is important to learn more about changes in the brain that occur in aMCI that may indicate a likely progression to AD. Conceptual apraxia (CA) refers to an impairment of knowledge of the mechanical advantages that tools provide, and the relationship between tools (e.g., hammer) and the objects (e.g., nails) on which the tools act. Caregivers of patients with AD often state that in addition to memory loss, one of the first signs they noticed was a loss of the ability to make house repairs or meal preparation, and studies have demonstrated that CA is often a feature of AD. Thus, the goal of this study is to learn if CA is present in patients with aMCI and if the presence of CA predicts the onset of AD. In our study, participants are presented with different types of picture matching tests including: 1)tool selection, based on selecting an object upon on which a tool normally operates; 2)alternative tool selection, where the tool that is normally used for an operation is not present and based on mechanical knowledge the subject must select a tool that can be used to complete the task; 3)pantomiming tool use. In addition, subjects will be tested for category fluency, matching pictures based on relatedness, and picture naming tests. We plan to recruit participants with AD, aMCI, and healthy older adult controls.