Title

Recognizing Vagus Nerve Stimulation as a Potential Therapeutic for Parkinson's Disease Through the Analysis of Neuronal Populations In Rat Model Brain Tissue

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Physiology and Health

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD), characterized by progressive neurodegeneration, is one of the most common motor deficiency disorders. However, despite being so common, it lacks any disease-modifying therapies with the exception of a new treatment, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). VNS was identified in separate studies to reduce the external motor effects of PD, but the effects of VNS on neuronal populations remains in question. The primary neuronal populations studied included dopaminergic neurons and their corresponding fibers due to their known decline in PD, as well as microglia due to their overall influence on PD symptoms. Rats exhibiting PD symptoms received VNS and a visible increase in their movement was observed. Following treatment, rats were euthanized, their brain tissue was sectioned and stained to identify the focal neuronal populations. A positive fluctuation of neuronal populations was measured, with an increase in dopaminergic neurons to an average concentration of 40.75. Corresponding dopamine fibers increased to an average concentration of 111. A substantial deactivation of microglia was observed. In a textbook case of PD there is a significant lack of dopaminergic neurons and fibers leading to a majority of the motor control deficiencies, and the lack of the two is caused by the significant abundance of neurotoxins released due to an overactivation of microglia. Therefore, the increased levels of dopaminergic neurons and their fibers support the observation of the decreased motor effects of PD on the VNS treated rats. These promising results assert the immense potential VNS has as a practicing therapy for Parkinson's disease.

Location

Furman Hall 201

Start Date

3-28-2020 9:29 AM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 9:29 AM

Recognizing Vagus Nerve Stimulation as a Potential Therapeutic for Parkinson's Disease Through the Analysis of Neuronal Populations In Rat Model Brain Tissue

Furman Hall 201

Parkinson's disease (PD), characterized by progressive neurodegeneration, is one of the most common motor deficiency disorders. However, despite being so common, it lacks any disease-modifying therapies with the exception of a new treatment, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). VNS was identified in separate studies to reduce the external motor effects of PD, but the effects of VNS on neuronal populations remains in question. The primary neuronal populations studied included dopaminergic neurons and their corresponding fibers due to their known decline in PD, as well as microglia due to their overall influence on PD symptoms. Rats exhibiting PD symptoms received VNS and a visible increase in their movement was observed. Following treatment, rats were euthanized, their brain tissue was sectioned and stained to identify the focal neuronal populations. A positive fluctuation of neuronal populations was measured, with an increase in dopaminergic neurons to an average concentration of 40.75. Corresponding dopamine fibers increased to an average concentration of 111. A substantial deactivation of microglia was observed. In a textbook case of PD there is a significant lack of dopaminergic neurons and fibers leading to a majority of the motor control deficiencies, and the lack of the two is caused by the significant abundance of neurotoxins released due to an overactivation of microglia. Therefore, the increased levels of dopaminergic neurons and their fibers support the observation of the decreased motor effects of PD on the VNS treated rats. These promising results assert the immense potential VNS has as a practicing therapy for Parkinson's disease.