Date of Completion

Summer 8-1-2011

Thesis Advisor(s)

John Salamone

Department

Psychology

Disciplines

Other Psychology | Psychology

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurdegenerative disorder, affecting millions of people worldwide. The underlying etiology of Alzheimer's disease, however, is such that treatment is difficult.

Researchers have linked a decrease in the transmission of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to the cognitive deficits seen in Alzheimer's disease. Recent drug therapies have focused on using drugs that block the action of the enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, that breaks down acetylcholine. However, these drugs, known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, have been found to produce side effects that have the same characteristics as Parkinson's disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. In this study, the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, galantamine, was used to produce parkinsonian tremor in rats.

Due to the interaction that acetylcholine has in the area of the brain that degenerates in Parkinson's disease, two different adenosine A2A antagonists, MSX-3 and MSX-4, were co-administered with galantamine to attempt to reverse the parkinsonian tremor induced by galantamine. It was found that both MSX-3 and MSX-4 were capable of reversing the parkinsonian tremor induced by the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor galantamine. More research with the adenosine A2A antagonists MSX-3 and MSX-4 is necessary.

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