Category: Marian K.

Week 12

This week, I met up with my professor again and we discussed the articles that I read last week. My professor told me that she would input the numbers I had trouble on in the articles for me since there was a special way she calculated those numbers and she also emailed the authors. After that, we discussed a couple more articles; however, we excluded some of them because they did not follow the criteria for meta-analysis.

I also had my second rehearsal meeting this week and just ran through my presentation. I did not have much to fix this time around and my advisors gave me suggestions on expanding some topics.

Week 11

This week, I did not go to internship; however, my professor sent me more articles to input into the excel sheet. I analyzed four articles and then input them into the data sheet. It was a little confusing at parts because I did not know where some of the numbers came from; however, I filled in all of the information as best as I can.

I also had my first SRP rehearsal this week and I presented in front of my advisors. I needed to make some changes to my powerpoint and presentation and so I tried very hard to write everything my teachers were telling me.

Week 10

This week, I met up with my professor and the U of A freshman again and we discussed articles Professor Chou found that we could use for the meta-analysis. There were a lot but we briefly looked over each article to see if it fit in the criteria of randomized, sham-controlled, and blind studies. We also looked to see if the articles focused on depression or cognitive functions. If one article focused on depression, it was my responsibility to record and input data into an excel sheet later at home. I observed while looking over those many articles that a lot of them focused on depression. I think that kind of makes sense because researchers often uses rTMS to treat depression in Parkinson’s Disease.

Week 9

This week I attended a brain imaging data analysis workshop that my professor was teaching. The class was in the main library of the U of A; however, I kind of got lost while looking for the room before the class actually started. I finally found the room and the workshop began. We were using the computers inside the library because the computers already had a software called VMWare Workstation downloaded on them. The goal of this workshop was to generate a seed-based connectivity map of the posterior cingulate cortex for three subjects and then perform a group-level analysis across all three subjects. My professor emailed me a step-by-step instruction sheet on how to complete these tasks and I tried following those instructions carefully. The instructions were very clear; however, I personally am not that good with computers, especially with data analysis, so I got lost on the way. While performing the first subject’s data analysis, I messed up at one point so I had to start over; however, I finally finished running the first subject’s analysis and got the pictures we were supposed to get.

I was supposed to repeat these steps for the next two subjects; however, another Professor helped me learn more shortcuts with data codes and analysis to help me get through the patients’ data analysis much faster. She also helped me learn more tricks with inputting data codes into the computer along the way. These are pictures of the results from the patients and some of the data codes I had to input to get the results.

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The below image is a picture that showed data points for time series of PCC for the first subject.SAM_3558.JPGSAM_3559.JPG

The next day, I met up in the Professor’s office again and had our usual meeting. Today, however, Mark explained to us the experiment that he and Professor Chou were going to conduct soon with patients. While reading articles and discussing them in the office the past weeks, I did hear a little bit about what they liked about each experiment and how to make it better for their own experiment. He explained to us what they needed to do to get ready and how we can help in the Fall of this year. Also, the TMS machine shipped in that week so that was also exciting news, although we are not ready to use it yet. After the meeting, I sat down with my professor and we went over the questions I had about tables I made of all the articles I read that had to do with depression since I will be writing a research paper about it.

Week 8

This week, I came a little bit earlier to discuss my research paper with my professor and what she wants me to write about. I decided to focus on depression in Parkinson’s Disease because I read a lot of articles focusing on this topic and the topic is interesting and I learned a lot. My professor told me it was a good idea to make tables for the articles that talked about depression and include all of the data about the patients and the experiments itself. I filled in all of the information I knew into tables this week at home.

At the office, after everyone came and sat down, we started to talk about the article, Effect of High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on major depressive disorder in patients with Parkinson’s disease by Shin et al, since we did not have a chance to talk last week. Since I filled in most of the information in the data sheet, we looked through those pieces of information once more and then filled in all of the new data. After that, we discussed the article, High-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Can Improve Depression in Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study by Makkos et al. This article focuses on depression again so I payed extra attention to the information we filled out in the data sheet.

Week 7

This week, I met with my professor, Mark, and the U of A freshman once again. We discussed one article that the freshman read that week and input data into the file. It was a difficult article but we worked together and filled in some data. I also explained the articles I read last week; however, I explained to the Professor that I was confused on the article, Retrospective evaluation of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as add-on treatment for Parkinson’s disease by Torres et al. This was because this article did not use a control group in the first place and so I was unsure on how to input all of the data. Because they did not use a control group, my professor told me that we had to exclude this article because it did not follow the criteria of having a sham group. However, she told me that the article was still important to mention in future articles publishing the data. After that, we went downstairs to take a look at the lab that was ready to be worked in. There were many desks inside the lab and I got to choose my seat so I could work there in the future.

Week 6

This week was Spring Break at the U of A and so I did not go to the office to work. Instead, my professor emailed me an excel sheet so I can use the knowledge of what I learned about inputting data last week to this week and this article. The article I put in data for was called Double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial on the effect of 10 days low-frequency rTMS over the vertex on sleep in Parkinson’s disease by Arias et al. This article was testing whether rTMS could improve sleeping symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

Also, my professor sent me two more articles to read and input data into the excel file. They were called Effect of High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on major depressive disorder in patients with Parkinson’s disease by Shin et al, and Retrospective evaluation of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as add-on treatment for Parkinson’s disease by Torres et al.

This is a picture of the excel file I am working on with many articles already recorded onto the file.

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Week 5

This week, I was joined by Mark and Professor Chou to record data into an excel file. I was not familiar with recording data into the sheet so I took it slowly and learned on the way. I read two articles that week; however, filled in the data for only one article called The Impact of Left Prefrontal Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Depression in Parkinson’s Disease: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study by Pal et al. The experiment of this article tested how the rTMS can affect depression in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. There were significant improvements in applied depression scales and other tests, although it was hard to tell whether rTMS could improve parkinsonian symptoms as much because of the overlapping symptoms seen in both depression and Parkinson’s Disease.

With this article, I helped fill in data about the experiment and the patients involved in a data sheet with Mark and the professor. Filling in this data with help was very important to me because I do not have much experience working with data sheets and organizing important information and so this was a new experience and I took away a lot from it. In the future, I will be working on filling in more data now by myself and starting literature searches for more articles about rTMS and Parkinson’s Disease.

Week 4

This week, we were not joined by my professor’s close colleague, Mark, because he was sent to Boston to learn more about the transcranial magnetic stimulation. So, my professor took it easy and taught us more about what exactly Parkinson’s Disease is and how the rTMS can help improve symptoms. We watched videos about how the machine works and we also learned that TMS can help migraines.

After that, it was my turn to help fill in data about the article I read which is called High-frequency rTMS improves time perception in Parkinson disease by Koch et al. This article explained how patients with Parkinson’s Disease tend to overestimate time and so researchers set off to do an experiment testing how rTMS can help the patients to not overestimate time as much. I helped fill in data about the patients and the experiment itself.

Week 3

This week, I met up in the professor’s office again and we started to work. I was later joined by the same people I met with last week. The professor split up the articles we had to read between myself and the U of A freshman. This week, we only looked at the article the freshman was reading because it was a very long and difficult article to read. With this article, we tried organizing all of the information about the experiment and patients in a table so it would be easier to look at in the future. We looked at the number of patients, the medications they were taking, the patient’s ages and genders, the specific kind of coil the researchers used for the rTMS, and much more. We had to look through the article very carefully because it was a confusing and difficult paper to understand. This experience helped me understand much more about how to organize data into separate columns that will help in the future when it is time to write a paper. It also helped me to understand how to look very carefully at the paper and try to pick out all of the useful information.