Mentor: Dr. David W. Smith
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I applied to the University Scholars Program because I had a project that I really wanted to pursue under the guidance of my mentor, and USP provided both funding and motivation to kickstart the project."
Applied Physiology & Kinesiology
- Applied Physiology & Kinesiology
- Sports Medicine
Hobbies and Interests
Assessing the Viability of Compromised Olfaction as a Potential Biomarker for Neurodegenerative Disorders
The primary aim of this project is to examine olfactory adaptation impairments in patients diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases. If our simple, non-invasive measure of olfactory dysfunction can effectively demonstrate reliable shifts in sensitivity, this technique could potentially serve as a diagnostic tool to evaluate risk of dementia for an assortment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with early olfactory impairment. I am proposing to use our olfactometer and adaptation protocol to characterize odor adaptation in a group of Parkinson’s and/or Alzheimer’s patients. The significance of this research, stated plainly, is that if our method proves accurate and cost-effective, it could become a viable option for early diagnosis of various neurodegenerative disorders.