Menu UF Health Home Menu
 

Jacob Lafo, M.S.

BiographyLafo

Jacob Lafo, M.S. is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology (Neuropsychology Track). He was born and raised in Boston, MA and received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in 2008, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. Following graduation, Jacob worked as a Clinical Research Associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA (autonomic neurology). Since joining the program in 2012, he has been mentored by Dr. Dawn Bowers, Ph.D. He is currently a fellow on the NINDS T32 in Interdisciplinary Training in Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration.

Research Focus

Jacob’s research has primarily focused on cognitive and emotional features of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor. Specifically, he is interested in characterizing phenotypic similarities and differences among movement disorders and underlying pathophysiology in basal ganglia and cerebellar circuits. In combination with traditional neuropsychological testing, Jacob has used EEG, fMRI, and psychophysiological methods to examine aspects of emotion regulation and reactivity.

Publications

Jones, J. D., Mangal, P., Lafo, J., Okun, M. S., & Bowers, D. (2016). Mood Differences Among Parkinson’s Disease Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (epub ahead of print). http://doi.org/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.15090221

Lafo, J. A., Jones, J. D., Okun, M. S., Bauer, R. M., Price, C. C., & Bowers, D. (2015). Memory Similarities Between Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease: A Final Common Pathway? The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 29(7), 985–1001. http://doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2015.1118553

Jones, J. D., Butterfield, L. C., Song, W., Lafo, J., Mangal, P., Okun, M. S., Bowers, D. (2014). Anxiety and Depression are Better Correlates of Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life than apathy. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13120380

Jones, J. D., Hass, C., Mangal, P., Lafo, J., Okun, M. S., Bowers, D. (2014). The Cognition and Emotional Well-being Indices of the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39: What do they really measure? Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 20(11), 1236-1241.

Wang, N., Gibbons, C. H., Lafo, J., & Freeman, R. (2013). Alpha-Synuclein in cutaneous autonomic nerves. Neurology, 81(18), 1604-1610.

Siepmann, T., Gibbons, C. H., Illigens, B. M., Lafo, J. A., Brown, C. M., & Freeman, R. (2012). Quantitative pilomotor axon reflex test: a novel test of pilomotor function. Archives of Neurology, 69(11), 1488-1492.

Abstracts/Presentations

Lafo, J., Mikos, A., Scott, B., Okun, M., Bowers, D. (2016) Startling Facts about Emotion in Essential Tremor: Blunted emotional reactivity as indexed by the startle eyeblink response. Poster presentation at the 45th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA. (Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society).

Mangal, P., Lafo, J., Scott, B., Okun, M., Bowers, D. (2016). Intentional Enhancement Of Electrocortical Responses To Emotional Pictures By Parkinson Patients: Relation To Executive Function. Poster presentation at the 45th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA. (Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society).

Scott, B., Lafo, J., Almeida, L., Okun, M., Bowers, D. (2016) Differential Effects of Apathy, Depression and Anxiety on Cognitive Function in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor and Dystonia. Poster presentation at the 45th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA. (Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society).

Lafo, J., Bowers, D., Marsiske, M., Marra, D., Thomas, K., Jones., J. D., Hass, C., Reynolds, B., Steindler, D., & Bauer, R (2015). Effects of Combined Cognitive Training and Physical Exercise on Spatial Navigation and Learning in Older Adults. Poster presentation at the 43rd annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Denver, CO. (Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society).

Mangal, P., Lafo, J., Jones, J.D., Okun, M., Bradley, M., Bowers, D. (2015). Emotional memory, the Late Positive Potential, and Parksinson’s Disease. Poster presentation at the Forty Third Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Denver, CO. (Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society).

Jones, J.D., Hass, C., Lafo, J.A., Mangal, P.C., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (2014) The Cognition Index of the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39: What Does it Really Measure? Poster presentation at the 42st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Jones, J.D., Mangal, P.C., Lafo, J.A., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (2014) Mood and Amotivation symptoms in Parkinson patients with and without Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): Comparison of 3 MCI classification approaches. Poster presentation at the 42st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society]

Lafo, J.A., Jones, J.D., Mangal, P.C., Okun, M.S., Price C.E., Bauer, R.M., & Bowers, D. (2014). Visuoperceptual task impairments in Parkinson’s disease: A pathway-specific association of executive function and memory? Poster presentation at the 42st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society]

Mangal, P.C., Jones, J.D., Lafo, J.A., Foote, K., Okun, M.S., Bauer, R.M., & Bowers, D. (2014). Cognitive and Brain Reserve in Parkinson disease (PD): Predictors of Cognitive Changes over Time. (2014) Poster presentation at the 42st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Seattle, WA. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society]

Lafo, J.A., Jones, J.D., Okun, M.S., Bauer, R.M., Price C.E., & Bowers, D. (2013) Memory Dissociations in Essential Tremor and Parkinson Disease: A Final Common Pathway? Poster presentation at the 41st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Waikoloa, HI. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society]

Mangal P.C., Jones, J.D., Lafo, J.A., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (2013). The Variability of Classifying PD-MCI Based on Differing Criteria. Poster presentation at the 41st annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Waikoloa, HI. [Abstract: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society]

Wang, N., Gibbons, C., Lafo, J., & Freeman, R. (2012) Alpha Synuclein as a Cutaneous Biomarker of Parkinson’s disease. Abstract presented at the 64rd American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 2012.

Gibbons, C., Lafo, J., Smith, G., Singleton, R., & Freeman, R. (2012). The quantification of sudomotor nerve fibers: a multi-center study in diabetes. Abstract presented at the 2012 International Symposium on the Autonomic Nervous System, Paradise Island, Bahamas, October 2012.

Illigens, B., Lafo, J., Freeman, R., & Gibbons, C.H. (2011). Sudomotor Dysfunction in Patients with Diabetes Compared to Healthy Subjects with Low Sweat Output. Neurology, 76, 2011 (Suppl 4): A574. Abstract presented at the 63rd American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI, April 2011.

Siepmann, T., Illigens, B., Lafo, J., Gibbons, C.H., & Freeman R. Quantitative Pilomotor Axon-Reflex Test (QPART): A Novel Assessment of Autonomic Small Fiber Function. Neurology, 76, 2011 (Suppl 4): A576. Poster presented at the 63rd American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI, April 2011.

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant (Fall 2014 – Spring 2015). Measurement, Research Design and Statistics I & II (graduate), Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Marsiske, Ph.D.

Guest lecturer (April 7, 2015). Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence. In Abnormal Psychology (undergraduate), College of Public Health & Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Guest lecturer (January 27, 2015). Executive Functions. In Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging (undergraduate), Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Honors/Awards

T32 Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration (Awarded July 2015 – current)

Travel Grant for Research, University of Florida Office of Research (2013, 2014, 2015; $800)

Clinical Excellence Merit Award, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA (2011)

Skidmore Periclean Honor Society (Awarded membership May 2008)

Skidmore Dean’s List (2004-2008)

Professional Roles and Peer Review

International Neuropsychological Society, Student member

American Psychological Association Division 40- Clinical Neuropsychology, Student member

Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal International Neuropsychological Society (2015)

University and Community Service

Free Therapy Night Student Clinic Co-Director (Jul. 2013- Present, promoted to co-director Aug. 2014)

Manage weekly volunteer clinic providing mental health care to underserved/uninsured community in Gainesville, FL area

2012 Cohort Representative (Aug. 2012 – Present). Department of Clinical & Health Psychology University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida