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YPIE Scientist: Autumn

Research: ApoE4 markedly exacerbates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tauopathy


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause for about half of all cases of dementia and it is associated with more than 70 different causes of brain dysfunction (Cummings & Benson, 1992). The development of Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other mental functions; such as thinking skills. At first, Alzheimer’s will impact the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus which controls memory, then, frontal and temporal lobes of the brain which controls decision-making, behavioral control, emotion, and language. The cause of the loss function in the brain is brain atrophy. The neuron connections degenerate and die, which causes a lack of communication and function between the brain connections. The tau protein combined with the gene APOE will cause tauopathy to worsen. In the research, “ApoE4 markedly exacerbates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tauopathy,” scientists purchased mice from Jackson Laboratory to use the method of knock out, knock in, and wild-type to input the alleles of APOE. The tests were volumetric analysis and representative images of the mice brain to view if there was atrophy or tauopathy of neurodegeneration. My intended methods are to use mice trials with the APOE4 allele to have a control and test group. In the control group, we can monitor the volume and atrophy in the brain. In the test group, we can remove the APOE4 out of the brain to monitor the tauopathy, volume, and atrophy. In these groups, we can use MRI every two weeks to determine the results. The results of the control group would have low volume and high atrophy due to the APOE4 allele and it’s atrophy. It is seen that genetic factors can contribute to the progression and neurodegeneration of AD.In the test group, I would expect higher volume and low atrophy in the brain because there are no APOE4 allele. This summer I will be attending the Rockefeller Summer Program and working with my mentors, which will help me further develop my research on AD.


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Will Cohn
Will Cohn
May 26, 2021

This is so cool!

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