Elisea De Somma, MA 

Graduate Student


My primary research interests involve how increased physical activity is capable of inducing change in the brain, and how such changes may be neuroprotective. I am particularly interested in investigating these phenomena in patient populations undergoing significant neuropathology, such as pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS).


As MS is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and given that pediatric-onset MS patients are at risk for cognitive impairment throughout the course of their illness, I am interested in the potential protective role that physical activity may have on neural connectivity and cognition in this population. It is well established that physical activity has positive effects on mood and cognition in healthy children and adolescents. As such, it may provide a promising avenue for rehabilitation in pediatric-onset MS. For my master’s research I will be measuring the integrity of major white matter tracts in the brain and cognitive efficiency in pediatric onset MS patients. My primary goal will be to determine whether physical activity acts as a moderator of these factors in order to inform future research on whether increasing physical activity can improve neural connectivity and cognition in this population.



In my spare time, I enjoy playing soccer, and rock-climbing with my lab-mate, Emily. My other hobbies include playing the piano, cooking, and creative writing.

Elisea at endMS Calgary 2019.jpeg

Elisea De Somma, MA

PhD candidate

Clinical-Developmental Program

Clinical Neuropsychology Stream

York University