Undergraduate Research

Research Rookies Student Profiles

elaine rodriguez

Name: Elaine Rodriguez

Cohort: Continuing Research Rookie

Major: Pre-Physical Therapy

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mary Jo Blaschak

Read Elaine's Blog

Project Title: Characteristics involved with the Balance in Seniors

Project Overview: The objective of the research project is to observe and identify the balance and motion characteristics involved with a patient with a neurodegenerative disease. This disease affects her nervous system and muscles. There are many symptoms including the degeneration of motor skills, speech, and voluntary movements. Physical therapy for patients with neurodegenerative diseases can minimize disability and pain help maintain functioning in activities of daily living. This research is based on observations that will take place for about of 3 months. Once balance and motion characteristics are identified, the investigator will compare the patient’s characteristics with those of an average healthy person. It is anticipated that the patient’s balance and movement activity will improve as they continue to perform prescribed exercise and stretching at home and in the clinic. During this project, the investigator will gain insight into the field of physical therapy, which will help her prepare for her future career.