Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Bailey, A.M., Fomum-Mugri, L., McDowell, K.A., and Yarowsky, P.J. (2010, November). Investigation of non-motor related behavioral and cognitive changes in an environmentally-induced model of parkinsonism.
Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive and debilitating disease affecting approximately 1% of the population over the age of 65. Disease progression leads to a decrease in quality of life and substantial medical costs. Early detection of PD is vital for effective treatment. Research suggests patients later diagnosed with PD often present prior to the clinical PD diagnosis with changes in olfaction, depressed mood, decreases in attention, and impaired cognition. We investigated a variety of behavioral and cognitive changes in a progressive model of PD using washed cycad seed. Rats fed washed cycad seed flour slowly develop motor deficits similar to PD and display neurological injury in the substantia nigra (SN) evidenced by a loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive neurons and the development of a-synuclein aggregates (Shen et al. in press). Rats had their diets supplemented with daily pellets composed of washed cycad seed flour (1.25g of cycad/rat/day) and were tested on a variety of behavioral measures before, during, and after cycad administration. During cycad administration, rats fed washed cycad seeds showed significant changes in olfactory processing (p < .05) and were significantly more active than control animals in an open field (p < .05). Following the end of cycad administration, rats were continually monitored for cognitive abilities. Compared to control animals, cycad-fed rats showed an increase in errors within an 8-arm radial arm maze; early impairment in latency to find the platform and impairment in time spent in the target quadrant in a water maze. Cycad-fed rats also showed an increase in trials to criterion in a set-shifting task when compared to control animals. The relationship between early hyperactive responses in the open field and later changes in cognitive ability will be discussed.