Nashville, TN

Lipscomb's undergraduates set to present research at 2021 National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference

Devon Williams

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NASHVILLE, TN - Undergraduate students of Lipscomb University, Camdyn Gilbert and Natalie Thwaites, will travel to Washington, D.C. in November with Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Katie Spirko to present their study at the 41st annual National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference. The pair had previously presented the study at the Lipscomb Student Scholars Symposium.

The presentation at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference will be a significant achievement for Thwaites because she believes it's critical to have a great opportunity like this one.

“A lot of schools have scholar symposiums, and I’m so glad to have already had that amazing opportunity, but the fact that it's specifically a neuro-conference, makes me feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity,” Thwaites said.

Thwaites is a senior psychology major, and Gilbert is a junior neurobiology major with a minor in neuropsychology. Neurobiology is a new major in Lipscomb, created in partnership with the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Science by Associate Professor of Biology, Dr. Bonny Millimaki.

Thwaites and Gilbert will explain their research on new neurodegenerative biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The study aims to help identify people at risk for memory difficulties and cognitive decline sooner. Their discoveries will aid in the prevention or delay of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The study uses data from an NIH-funded research program run by the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer Center. Gilbert's research focuses on neurogranin and studies synaptic dysfunction biomarker on cognitive decline in men and women. Thwaites focuses on whether neurofilament light, a biomarker of axon damage linked to cognitive dysfunction in the CSF, can also predict cognitive decline in aging adults when measured in the blood.

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