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Laura Gravelsins

PhD Student

University of Toronto

My primary research investigates the influence of ovarian hormone deprivation on brain health. I study memory, and its relationships to sleep disruption, oxidative stress, and brain structure, in middle-aged women with prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (surgical removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes) prior to spontaneous (natural) menopause. This is a group of women who experience an abrupt, early decline in ovarian hormones and are at a high-risk for developing later life Alzheimer’s Disease. Through my work, I strive to identify factors that protect against cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases in women. My training in Dr. Gillian Einstein’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Gender, and Health, and Dr. Cheryl Grady’s Aging and Neuroimaging Laboratory has provided me with extensive knowledge on the administration and analysis of neuropsychological tasks, acquisition and analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, and statistical tools for handling large datasets with repeated measurements, to name a few.


Area of Research Expertise
Surgical menopause; estrogens; memory; sleep; cortical thickness