Seminars & Events
Friday, October 4, 2013: Dr. Laurie Ryan, SMCM '86 (National Institute on Aging) will speak on "Alzheimer's Disease: Targets and Treatments" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 21, 2013: Dr. Greg Elmer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Domains and Constructs in Motivation: Where Does the Habenula Fit In?" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, October 25, 2013: Dr. Terry Davidson (American University) will speak on "Why We Overeat and Become Obese? It Could be What We Think!" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Dr. Gwen Calhoon '06 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and was inducted into Nu Rho Psi.
Lubben, Jade (2006). Exercise As A Protective Mechanism Against Chronic Stress Induced Memory Impairments And Hippocampal Damage In Rats.
Mentor: Dr. Anne Marie Brady
Chronic stress and release of the stress hormones glucocorticoids (GC’s) can cause learning and memory impairments. Chronic binding of GC’s is toxic to neurons of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in learning and memory. The expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is also suppressed in times of chronic stress. The decrease in BDNF, a protein that supports the functional integrity of neurons, may be the key factor underlying stress-induced memory impairments. Voluntary exercise by humans and rodents appears to enhance memory and increase the expression of hippocampal BDNF. The current study investigated whether 2 weeks of voluntary exercise by rats would protect against memory impairments caused by co-occurring restraint stress (1 hour per day). After 2 weeks of the stress condition, exercise condition, stress and exercise condition, or control condition, the animals’ non-spatial hippocampus-dependent memory was tested using the novel object recognition task. Results showed only a positive main effect of exercise on memory, consistent with previous research. Contrary to the hypothesis, stress had no effect. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Read the paper (pdf format, 245KB)