Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Randolph Coleman

Committee Members

Jennifer Bestman

Adrian Bravo


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the 2nd most common neurodegenerative disease often characterized by tremor-like motor symptoms among other symptoms. Recent research has moved towards learning more about pre-motor symptoms or manifestations, such as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is a sleep disorder characterized by a loss of paralysis during REM sleep, where patients vividly act out their dreams. Microglia, which are known as the immune cells of the central nervous system, may be the common factor contributing to the advancement from RBD to PD via microglial activation and the subsequent increased oxidative stress. Using zebrafish to connect this model to a living organism, I found that sleep disruptions over 3 days is connected to a reduction in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons within the ventral diencephalon of zebrafish, the area homologous to the substantia nigra in humans. This model is the first to look directly at the connections between sleep disruption and cell count in zebrafish.

On-Campus Access Only