Lena Law, a member in the Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD, lab, was one of 90 undergraduate researchers from across Wisconsin, and one of only eight from UW-Madison, who presented their research at Research in the Rotunda at the Wisconsin Capitol on April 12, 2017. This annual event brings undergraduate student researchers and their faculty advisers to the Capitol Rotunda to share their research findings with legislators, state leaders, and UW alumni.
Law presented her poster “Chronotropic response and cognitive function in a cohort at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.” Her project focuses on connections between heart health and Alzheimer’s disease in late-middle-aged adults with risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Law found patients who had a greater heart rate response to physical activity also exhibited improved memory and decision-making skills. On the flipside, Law found patients whose heart rate did not respond as well to physical activity also showed poorer results during memory skills tests. Her work suggests exercise and physical activity in midlife can contribute to slowing or preventing Alzheimer’s disease in patients with risk factors for the disease.
A 2013 graduate of Marshfield High School, Law is a senior at UW-Madison majoring in psychology and Spanish. She plans to volunteer with AmeriCorps for one year and apply for medical school this summer.