Using Zebrafish to Test a Computational Model Linking REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Parkinson’s Disease
Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Science (BS)
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.
Buzzi, Belle, "Using Zebrafish to Test a Computational Model Linking REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Parkinson’s Disease" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1592.
On-Campus Access Only