SURF

Leonardino Digma

Investigating Alzheimer's: Network Theory Approach

The leading hypothesis suggests that the progression of Alzheimers disease (AD), the major cause of dementia, is driven by the accumulation of misfolded amyloidB proteins into plaques within the brain. The presence of these plaques in some cognitively healthy adults has complicated our understanding of AD and has raised the question of what exactly triggers cognitive decline. Recent studies employing network theory have revealed that the answer may lie in the details of the disruption of the brain network by the amyloidB plaques. This summer I will use fMRI and PET imaging data to simulate the progressive effects of plaque deposition on the topology of the functional brain network.

Message to Sponsor

It is truly an honor to participate in SURF this summer and I would like to thank the Rose Hills Foundation for funding my research project. With the lack of funding for research becoming a growing problem, it is terrific that organizations like the Rose Hills Foundation recognize the importance of science and help continue to foster the next generation of scientists. I am very excited to further develop my laboratory skills while contributing to the fields of health and neuroscience. Lastly, I am indebted to my mentors Katelyn Begany and Bill Jagust for introducing me to a fascinating research topic and their ongoing support.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: William Jagust, Public Health, Neuroscience