Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Andy (“Yuying”) Liu L&S Biological Sciences

Correlated Motor&Sleep Deficits During Prodromal Parkinson's Stage

Do you know that sleep deficits might be foreshadowing Parkinson’s Disease (PD)? In fact, PD-related sleep problems, such as insomnia, excessive daytime somnolence, and REM sleep behavior disorder can begin decades before the display of motor dysfunction. Previous studies have identified a subset of GABAergic neurons in medial substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) to be preferentially active in states of sleep and low motor activity, and they also promote sleep when activated. 

Based on a newly developed behavior categorization system, I will investigate whether the activities of these GABAergic neurons are altered in Parkinsonian mice and how that may cause the development of motor/sleep deficits during the progression of PD. The results will yield a comprehensive dataset describing the development of motor and arousal deficits during PD progression and shed light on the mechanism underlying the correlation between motor dysfunction and altered arousal states.

Message To Sponsor

I am immensely grateful for the donor's generosity and care for the cultivation of young researchers. Your support is what makes it possible for me to dedicate the whole summer to research.
Major: MCB (neuro) and Data Science
Mentor: Lindsay ("Xiaolin") Huang
Sponsor: Shin Morgan Fund
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