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.
Parr, Christina (2011). Odor and spatial working memory in an environmentally-induced animal model of Parkinsonism. (Mentor: A. Bailey)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that affects many people in the United States and world. PD is characterized by its well-known motor symptoms, but also many cognitive symptoms that occur before the onset or in conjunction with the motor deficits. These non-motor impairments are more variable and not well understood. Many methods have been developed in order to model the disease in animals, but none of these previous methods have included the progressive feature of the disease. The cycad seed, an environmental neurotoxin, model has been shown to cause ALS-PDC among the Chamorro population in Guam and when fed to rats have shown PD-like symptoms. Therefore, this progressive model can be used to study possible cognitive deficits that occur before the onset of motor deficits. The current study examined possible deficits in spatial and social odor working memory using the Y-maze task and the social odor recognition task. No significant differences between the three groups of rats were found except for decreases in locomotion time in the open field over the two testing days in the control rats and the low dose cycad rats in the social odor recognition task. This suggests that the high dose cycad rats are not habituating to the open field apparatus suggesting a possible deficit. There was high variation within the groups, which makes a strong conclusion more difficult. Future research should examine the correlation between the neurochemical changes, specifically a-synuclein aggregates, in the substantia nigra and entorhinal cortex and individual behavior.