Post #3: Final Update – Literature Review/Project Summary

Hi everyone,

I have just completed revising and editing my completed Literature Review/Monroe Freshman research project, and I’m so excited to be submitting this to my project advisor soon! I haven’t kept her as updated as I hoped (through my own fault, though she agreed to be a more hands-off advisor), but I hope she enjoys reading the product. Thank you again, Professor Lopresti!

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Research Summary

My research did not necessarily follow its projected path, but I’m very happy with where it ended up. I talked before in a previous blog post about switching my focus from urban/suburban districts to a singular school district (Henrico). In the end, I was able to come up with a lot more compelling data points because of that decision. My final product feels to me like it could be the first step in a much longer research project, meaning the answers I came up with really just prompted new questions for the future.

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Update #3 and Final Summary: Trends and Relationships Between Broadway Theater and Movie Musical Revenue

2018 Freshman Monroe Project Summary:

I decided to complete my freshman summer research project on the trends and relationships between Broadway theater and movie musical industries. I had two main goals for this research project. My educational goal was to apply what I learned in my freshman statistics & data science classes and build my capabilities in data analysis. My personal objective was to learn more about Broadway and movie musicals, especially in advance of my chance to see Hamilton at the Kennedy Center in July.

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Summary – The effectiveness and access of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder treatments

Eighty hours later, I have completed my Freshman Monroe Summer Research project. My final product comes in the form of a literature review of HIV-associated cognitive disorder (HAND) research and treatments. Our knowledge of HIV infection in the brain and how it causes HAND has increased significantly over the past twenty years. Understanding of HAND’s pathogenesis, risk factors, comorbidities, and biomarkers is crucial to the development and assessment of combination antiretroviral therapies (cART). Though cART has become commonplace in developed countries like the U.S., many issues still need to be resolved before this treatment is considered fully effective against HAND. Specifically, poor BBB penetration leads to incomplete viral suppression and drives neurodegeneration. Neural damage can also occur due to prolonged exposure to inflammatory responses. Additional problems include drug resistance, drug-drug interactions, adverse effects, comorbidities, and adherence. Recent research suggests the importance of early cART initiation, so this has become another area of focus. This is especially true in resource-limited settings, where late initiation contributes to lower cART efficacy. Groups like the World Health Organization outline strategies for successful large-scale cART initiation, taking into consideration the specific challenges that under-developed countries face. Scientists, doctors, and humanitarians alike work to improve cART, make it more effective against HAND, and increase access across all global settings. While cART is the main HIV and HAND treatment and therefore the most researched, adjuvant therapies like Minocycline and cognitive rehabilitation techniques such as transcranial direct stimulation are also being explored. The research conducted over the past twenty years on HIV and how it impacts the brain has informed our current treatment strategies. However, this work will only be complete once cART, or some other treatment, is fully effective against HAND for all HIV+ individuals.