Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Randolph Coleman

Committee Members

Pamela Hunt

Mainak Patel


Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by cognitive decline as a result of brain atrophy. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown but current theories involve the aggregation of amyloid beta plaques as well as neurofibrillary tangles. Inflammation is emerging as central to the progression of the disease, with increased amyloid beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with the Nuclear Factor Kappa B pathway. This project presents a mathematical model of the impact of vagus nerve stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease, as seen through the Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NFKB) pathway. The model examines several factors involved in the inflammatory pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, and a potential mechanism for vagus nerve stimulation to ameliorate this inflammation through acetylcholine. The model was created on the basis of biochemical systems theory (BST) which has been successfully applied to the biochemistry of neurodegenerative diseases in the past. The model uses CellDesigner in order to create a graphic of the system, SBML squeezer in order to compute mathematical equations for the system, and COPASI in order to run a simulation of the model. The use of COPASI allows for the model to be examined both at a baseline diseased state and with the addition of vagus nerve stimulation as a therapeutic agent.