Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-8-2016

School

School of Health Sciences

Major

Biology: Biomedical Sciences

Keywords

Alzheimer's Disease, Mouse Model, RNA Sequencing, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Disease, miRNA, MicroRNA, mRNA, Gene Expression, Epigenetics, DNA, RNA

Disciplines

Animal Diseases | Medical Genetics | Molecular Genetics | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology | Neurosciences | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms

Abstract

Explaining precisely how Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—the world’s most common form of dementia—materializes in the human brain has proven to be one of the most elusive ends in modern medicine. Progressive memory loss, neurodegeneration, and the presence of abnormal protein aggregates of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) characterize this disease. Genome sequencing provides researchers with the ability to better identify disease-related changes in gene expression, some of which may play a role in the initiation and progression toward the AD-like state. Intimate interactions between tissues have been observed in many diseases, particularly between the brain and blood. This analysis seeks to employ RNA sequencing techniques in the brain in order to identify potential drivers, molecular passengers, and significant contributors to AD, while overlaying this data with that of the blood to identify candidate genes to be used as disease biomarkers.