Presentation Title

Levodopa-induced motor behavior alterations in Drosophila larvae

Advisor Information

Bruce Chase

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 4:00 PM

Abstract

While Parkinson’s Disease is thus far incurable, the leading treatment for these motor symptoms is therapy with levodopa (L-DOPA)—a molecule that is naturally converted to dopamine inside our brain. However, some patients who receive L-DOPA cannot tolerate this therapy, and the reason for this is not well understood. To investigate this issue, we are using flies to identify genes that affect the organisms’ behavioral response to L-DOPA, with the long-term goal of improving treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In order to reach our goal, we feed L-DOPA to fruit fly larvae, a worm-like developmental stage of the fruit flies that shows simple feeding behavior, then we quantify the effect seen in the animals’ movement behavior afterwards. Statistical analysis of this data lets us define an experimental paradigm that can reliably measure the nature of the dose-dependent L-DOPA response. This research demonstrated significant behavioral differences between the flies treated with L-DOPA and untreated flies. In our presentation at the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, we will present data establishing the “proof-of-concept” that we have a reliable assay for the effect of L-DOPA on movement behavior. The research also describes our observations of two types of movements induced by L-DOPA that, to our knowledge, have not been identified in existing research. In the future, I will work with other students to use computational analysis of video-recorded data, and then evaluate this response in genetically different strains. This will lead to the identification of genes that affect the response of an animal to L-DOPA.

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Mar 4th, 2:30 PM Mar 4th, 4:00 PM

Levodopa-induced motor behavior alterations in Drosophila larvae

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

While Parkinson’s Disease is thus far incurable, the leading treatment for these motor symptoms is therapy with levodopa (L-DOPA)—a molecule that is naturally converted to dopamine inside our brain. However, some patients who receive L-DOPA cannot tolerate this therapy, and the reason for this is not well understood. To investigate this issue, we are using flies to identify genes that affect the organisms’ behavioral response to L-DOPA, with the long-term goal of improving treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In order to reach our goal, we feed L-DOPA to fruit fly larvae, a worm-like developmental stage of the fruit flies that shows simple feeding behavior, then we quantify the effect seen in the animals’ movement behavior afterwards. Statistical analysis of this data lets us define an experimental paradigm that can reliably measure the nature of the dose-dependent L-DOPA response. This research demonstrated significant behavioral differences between the flies treated with L-DOPA and untreated flies. In our presentation at the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, we will present data establishing the “proof-of-concept” that we have a reliable assay for the effect of L-DOPA on movement behavior. The research also describes our observations of two types of movements induced by L-DOPA that, to our knowledge, have not been identified in existing research. In the future, I will work with other students to use computational analysis of video-recorded data, and then evaluate this response in genetically different strains. This will lead to the identification of genes that affect the response of an animal to L-DOPA.