Evaluating Test Scores to Capture Changes in the Brain in People with Lupus
Exploring the connection between cognitive function and lupus, Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship (Finzi) award winner Jennifer He specifically examined cognitive dispersion (a known marker for functional decline) in people with lupus. She discovered an association between a test score that captures the inconsistencies in performance across multiple tests (dispersion score) and cognitive dysfunction. Adults with lupus with high dispersion scores using the American College of Rheumatology Neuropsychological battery were more likely to be classified as having cognitive dysfunction.
Awardee He shared, “As a young scientist, the LFA’s Gina M. Finzi Fellowship award has provided me with the support and resources needed to conduct research that may enhance the identification of cognitive dysfunction in people with lupus, and ultimately improve disease management as well as prevent the accrual of long-term damage and disability.”
Neuropsychological conditions are common in people with lupus. Research in this area is growing and He’s work sheds light on scoring results as a possible marker for capturing subtle changes to the brain that may lead to dysfunction. He plans to continue exploring neuropsychology in Canada.
Each year, the Finzi award grant program connects students with leading scientists in the lupus field to advance lupus research and contribute to future therapies, prevention strategies and educational programs. Learn more about He and her research efforts.