high_schoolClass of 2025Santa Clara, California
- "What are genetic contributors to glioma, and how do they affect brain cancer progression and treatment?" with mentor Jacob (June 28, 2023)
- "Research Question: How can understanding the etiology of dementia assist in the diagnosis and treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder?" with mentor Arianna (July 20, 2022)
What are genetic contributors to glioma, and how do they affect brain cancer progression and treatment?
Started Nov. 22, 2022
Abstract or project description
Gliomas are the most common type of brain tumor and some subtypes have high rates of mortality with few effective treatment options. This project will explore what is known about the genetic basis of glioma progression using information from genome-wide association studies and monogenic conditions that increase the likelihood of developing brain cancer. We will consider how different mutations affect the progression of glioma and explore common mechanisms of cell transformation and tumor development. Finally, we will consider how we can use knowledge of the genetic basis of glioma to devise personalized treatment plans for patients. This "personalized medicine" approach can use specific genetic markers to gauge the effectiveness of various chemotherapeutics or other treatments on an individual patient, and could have implications for glioma treatment in the future.
Research Question: How can understanding the etiology of dementia assist in the diagnosis and treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder?
Started Jan. 27, 2022
Abstract or project description
Though classified differently, personality disorders, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and neurodegenerative diseases, specifically dementia, affect the brain similarly. MRI studies have demonstrated that people with Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder have reduced volume in the frontal lobe, bilateral hippocampus, bilateral amygdala, and left orbitofrontal cortex. Dementia causes a loss of neurons in many of the same regions, including the temporal lobe, specifically the entorhinal cortex and the hippocampus. These brain changes also give rise to related patterns of symptomatology. Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder include behavior changes, shorter attention span, ongoing gaps in memory about everyday events, loss of time sense, personal info, and past traumatic events. Not unlike Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, symptoms of dementia include behavior changes; because cells in the frontal lobe are lost, attention span and impulse control are also decreased. Dementia comes with age, specifically to those above the age of 65y. Personality disorders, however, can be caused by traumatic events that occurred in early childhood. Previous research has examined risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases; understanding what contributes to the etiology of dementia may help us understand the causes and effects of personality disorders. This could then lead to advancements in treatments and therapy for certain personality disorders. The present review will therefore discuss the current literature surrounding dementia and personality disorders. It will also explore how the field's understanding of dementia might contribute to advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.