Laura Zahodne, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Department of Neurology
The Taub Institute
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
- Psychosocial factors in aging and neurodegenerative disease. Psychological symptoms (e.g., depression) have been associated with higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the nature of this association is not well understood. I am interested in investigating non-mutually exclusive hypotheses that these symptoms represent: 1) psychological reaction to cognitive and functional decline; 2) early symptoms of the neurodegenerative process; 3) risk factors that lower the brain’s ability to cope with AD pathology. In addition, I am interested in the role of psychosocial protective factors (e.g., wellbeing, self-efficacy, social support) in cognitive and brain aging, independent of negative affect. I study how these protective factors influence late-life cognitive functioning among racially and ethnically diverse older adults.
- Statistical modeling of symptom trajectories in aging and neurodegenerative disease. Advanced longitudinal methods such as latent growth curve modeling represent powerful, flexible techniques for characterizing changes in brain and behavior over time. I am interested in modeling multivariate outcomes longitudinally to explore theories of disease progression, identify sources of individual differences in aging and disease, and improve clinical prognosis.
Zahodne, L.B., Nowinski, C., Gershon, R., & Manly, J.J. (in press). Which psychosocial factors best predict cognitive performance in older adults? Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Zahodne, L.B., Schofield, P.W., Farrell, M., Stern, Y., & Manly, J.J. (2014). Bilingualism does not alter age-related cognitive decline or dementia risk among Spanish-speaking immigrants. Neuropsychology, 28, 238-246.
Zahodne, L.B., Stern, Y., & Manly, J.J. (in press). Depressive symptoms precede memory decline, but not vice versa, in non-demented older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Zahodne, L.B., Manly, J.J., MacKay-Brandt, A., & Stern, Y. (2013). Cognitive declines precede and predict functional declines in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. PLoS One, 8 (9), e73645. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636.
Zahodne, L.B., Manly, J.J., Brickman, A.M., Siedlecki, K., DeCarli, C., & Stern, Y. (2013). Quantifying cognitive reserve in older adults by decomposing episodic memory variance: replication and extension. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19 (8), 854-862.