Neuromodulator and olfaction deficits in an MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's Disease
The aim of this project is to quantify the olfactory dysfunctions associated with Parkinson’s Disease in a mouse 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model. Parkinson’s Disease, like many neurodegenerative diseases, gives rise to olfactory deficits during the early nonmotor stages of disease development. The MPTP neurotoxin model is a common method to study this early state progression due to the slow, realistic rate of neuronal degradation it causes throughout the brain. Even with the presence of such a model, a focus on the predominant motor aspects of the disease has left these smell losses inadequately explored from a neurochemical and behavioral level. Thus, the two objectives of this study are: to assess olfactory deficits in the MPTP model through discrimination/duration tests, and to correlate these behavioral results to previously observed changes of dopamine (DA) levels in the striatum. These results will help connect the behavioral progression of PD with the existing knowledge of olfactory processing networks. Beyond learning about the mechanisms themselves, the eventual hope is that such knowledge can be applied to the patient setting to develop a reliable disease marker before the onset of conventional PD symptoms.
Biological sciences honors program; Olfaction; Parkinson disorder; pharmacology; dopamine
B.A. of Biological Sciences
Bachelor of Arts
dissertation or thesis