Go to Polygence Scholars page
Olivia Courtemarche's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2022
Olivia Courtemarche's profile

Olivia Courtemarche

St. Monica AcademyClass of 2022Glendale, California



  • "Use It, or Lose It: Neuroplasticity in Neurodegenerative Disorders " with mentor Ana (Aug. 13, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Use It, or Lose It: Neuroplasticity in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Started Apr. 12, 2022

Abstract or project description

Dealing with mental struggles all my life, I have always refused to take medication. I have witnessed people around me also deal with neurological differences and that is the reason I became more interested in neuroscience. To gain clarity on my own and the situations around me I decided to do more research, once I found the idea of neuroplasticity I was hooked. This paper will discuss neuroplasticity’s relationship with various disorders and their underlying physiologies, and encourage the idea of avoiding pharmaceuticals as the primary treatment option. The disorders examined in this study include alzheimers, schizophrenia, depression, dyslexia and ADHD. I believe that neuroplasticity is the future to a progressive remission within patients struggling with mental disorders. Instead of masking symptoms with medication we can learn to work through them and change the makeup of our brains. To form a new habit it takes an average of 66 days, or to “rewire” an area of your brain it takes between 18 and 254 days (Gardner et al., 2012). A large outcome of my research paper is that consistency is key and that it is the only way you will see long term results. Recognizing that combating a neurological issue and fighting a degenerative process can feel almost impossible to gather the motivation to work everyday and break your cognitive boundaries, I believe that there is effective change and it will get easier over time. Beginning that journey is your first step and there is never weakness with leaning on an alternate supporter, but alongside that I believe keeping neuroplastic enhancing habits is beneficial for anyone no matter their state of life. When I have the correct resources I plan to expand my research on this topic as widely as possible.