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6-week course

All Pods / Neurodegeneration

Neuroscience and Alzheimer's: Learn about modifiable lifestyle factors that increase risk for Alzheimer's disease

This Pod will meet once per week for 6 weeks, starting on June 18, 2024 at 7:00pm EDT/4:00pm PDT, with the last session being Tuesday July 23, 2024.

By enrolling you confirm this time works for you.

Date and time

Tuesday, 7:00pm EDT/4:00pm PDT

Group size

3-7 students

Outcome

A literature review/article and a final zoom presentation of your work

Tuition

$495

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TAUGHT BY

Joanna

University of California San Diego (UCSD) PhD candidate in Neuroscience

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Neuroscience and Alzheimer's: Learn about modifiable lifestyle factors that increase risk for Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease, impacting over 6 million Americans and ranked as the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and by the time the disease is diagnosed with the emergence of cognitive deficits, irreversible pathological damage in the brain has already occurred over several years. As such, a large area of Alzheimer's research focuses on modifiable lifestyle risk factors that can decrease one's risk for developing the disease. This pod will provide students with neuroscience fundamentals, the basics of Alzheimer's disease, and a deep dive into different modifiable lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer's prevention. Students will identify a risk factor of their choice, or another Alzheimer's-related topic of interest, and produce a short literature review/article and give a final presentation to the pod.

ABOUT THE MENTOR

Joanna

University of California San Diego (UCSD) PhD candidate

I am a third-year PhD student in the neurosciences graduate program at UC San Diego, where I do research on modifiable risk factors in Alzheimer's disease. In particular, I study circadian rhythms, sleep, and physical activity and how they are involved in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment. Prior to joining my thesis lab, I studied neurodevelopmental disorders through stem cell/organoid research. During my undergraduate years, I studied vocal dysfunction in Parkinson's disease at the University of Arizona, as well as the neural circuitry underlying decision-making at Princeton University. Overall, I have a wide array of experiences studying diseases that impact the brain, from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration. I am from Portland, Oregon and I currently live in La Jolla, California. I am Costa-Rican and am proficient in Spanish. Neuroscience is one of my greatest passions and I hope to instill a curiosity over the intricacies of the brain in the students I mentor. Outside of my research, I play sports such as volleyball and soccer, surf, try new restaurants around San Diego, hang with my cat, and attend lots of music festivals and concerts.

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Neuroscience and Alzheimer's: Learn about modifiable lifestyle factors that increase risk for Alzheimer's disease

Week by week curriculum

Week 1

We will begin with mentor and student introductions and talk over the 6-week short course structure and content overview, including expectations for a final product. Students will first learn some neuroscience fundamentals. We will then go over a brief introduction to Alzheimer's disease, including how the disease impacts the brain, and modifiable lifestyle risk factors for the disease. Students will begin to identify the modifiable lifestyle risk factor (or another Alzheimer's-related topic of interest) that they would like to produce a short paper and presentation over for their final project. Students will learn how to conduct a literature search, and what makes a good research question.

Week 2

Students will next learn some basics of scientific writing as well as the detailed structure of a scientific review paper. Students will then learn about Alzheimer’s disease in greater detail. What do we know about Alzheimer's and what do we not know? What causes Alzheimer's disease and which genes are involved? What are the different approaches and models to studying Alzheimer's disease, and how does the disease progress over time? What treatments are available and how effective are they? Students will learn how to write an introduction and an outline for a review paper.

Week 3

Students will engage in discussion over their paper’s introduction and outline. Students will learn about two new modifiable lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, and how to write and format the main sections of a review paper.

Week 4

Students will engage in discussion over the first half of their papers. They will learn how to write a discussion and conclusion of a review paper, and learn about the peer-review process. Students will learn about two new modifiable lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

Week 5

Students will engage in discussion over the second half of their review paper, as well as the peer review process. They will learn how to: follow the submission requirements of a journal, write an abstract, properly format a references section and in-text citations, thoroughly and correctly edit a review paper to prepare it for submission. Students will learn about two new modifiable lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Some students will give their final presentations to the pod over their chosen topic.

Week 6

Students will engage in discussion over the process of completing their paper. Students will give their final presentations to the pod over their chosen topic.