UF neuroscience postdoc Brittney Yegla, Ph.D., is among featured speakers from across the world who will present at the 2nd Workshop on Research Definitions for Reserve and Resilience in Cognitive Aging and Dementia, to be held virtually Sept. 14 and 15.
Yegla will present at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 15 on her pilot project with Thomas Foster, Ph.D., a UF professor of neuroscience and Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Research on Cognitive Aging and Memory. The project has been selected for a $30,000 National Institutes of Health grant as part of the Reserve and Resilience Collaboratory, brought together with the goal of coming to consensus on operational definitions for reserve and resilience concepts.
The pilot project by Foster and Yegla, “Molecular Markers to Operationally Define Cognitive Reserve,” aims to improve understanding of how age-associated gene expression in certain brain regions is representative of cognitive reserve, a form of plasticity at molecular, cellular and network levels that can buffer against age-related cognitive changes. Using rodent-model data, they will correlate age-related variability in “spatial memory” with variability in gene expression.
The Reserve and Resilience Workshops build upon three previous Cognitive Aging Summits convened by the National Institute on Aging and supported by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation. The experts’ long-term goal is to positively affect factors that may influence resilience to brain changes caused by aging and help develop cognitive reserve mechanisms.