Seminars & Events
Thursday, September 11, 2014: Dr. Bevil Conway (Wellesley College) will speak on his research in visual neuroscience and color at 4:30 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 27, 2014: Dr. Todd Gould (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Genes to behaviors to treatments in bipolar disorder" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.Friday, December 5, 2014: Dr. Brian Mathur (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Braking bad: Aberrant inhibitory neurotransmission in addiction" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
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.