Exploring the Mind | COVID-19, Inflammation, and Risks for Long-Term Memory Decline
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Join Dr Natalie Tronson, Associate Professor of Psychology, for a presentation on her research using animal models to learn more about the long-term neurological effects of inflammation and viral illness and how this can be equated to COVID-19. Dr Tronson will discuss COVID-related risks for dementias including Alzheimer's disease, and long-COVID.
COVID-19 has dominated our lives for the past 3 years, and although we now know a lot about the virus and about the COVID-19 illness, we are just starting to learn about the long-term effects of the pandemic, the virus, and the sickness. In my laboratory, we study how illness and inflammation – a part of the body’s own defenses against viruses and other invaders – can cause short- and long-term changes in the brain, in memory, and in cognition. Over the past few years, we have become specifically interested in the role of inflammation in long-COVID, a syndrome that can last months or longer, and includes neurological symptoms including “brain fog” and decreased memory function. In this talk, I will discuss what we have learned from animal models of COVID-like inflammation and memory dysfunction, and what we are trying to learn about COVID-related risks for age-related cognitive decline and dementias including Alzheimer’s disease.
Natalie Tronson received her B.Sc (Hons 1st Class) from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney Australia, where she developed a love for studying psychology and neuroscience – and specifically learning and memory, and then moved to the US for her PhD at Yale University on how memory was not stable and reliable but often modified after recall. After a post-doctoral position at Northwestern University, where she both studied how stress could enhance fear memories and started doing triathlons, Natalie moved to the University of Michigan in 2012. Her research focus is still mostly on memory -- how the brain forms and stores memory, and how learning and memory get messed up by illness and stress. Current projects include how COVID-like inflammation modifies memory and contributes to memory deficits and risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, and hormonal contraceptive effects on stress, motivation, and depression. Natalie’s research is currently funded by the Alzheimer’s association and NIH.
This program is in partnership with The University of Michigan Department of Psychology.
This event will be recorded