Disorders of the Nervous System
Author: Gustavo Ezequiel Perez | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gustavo Ezequiel Perez 1°, Yamila Barrientos Eduards 1°, Sebastián Risau-Guzmán 2°, Lorena Franco 2°
1° Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue
2° Departamento de Física Médica, Centro Atómico Bariloche
Parkinson’s disease (PD) ranks as the second most common neurodegenerative syndrome, significantly affecting motor function, quality of life, and life expectancy of patients. Motor symptoms associated with PD are attributed to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the region of the Substantia Nigra Compacta (DA-SNc) in the brain. Moreover, it is increasingly evident that PD patients experience a range of non-motor symptoms, including sleep disorders. Of particular interest is REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), as recent studies highlight that a considerable percentage of patients diagnosed with RBD eventually develop PD. In this research project, the aim is to delve into the behavioral repercussions of mutations related to PD and RBD in Drosophila melanogaster. The investigation encompasses the study of anomalies in locomotion patterns, sleep architecture, and sudden movements during sleep. Flies at different life stages – young, adult, and old – were analyzed to assess the progression of these symptoms. The goal was to correlate behavioral defects related to both PD and RBD, with PD molecular mechanisms (such as mutations in alpha-synuclein genes and loss of Gba expression) restricted to neuronal groups responsible for sleep and locomotion control. The insights gained from this study will provide a deeper understanding of the affected neuronal groups in PD and RBD, in addition to further establishing RBD symptoms as an early indicator of PD.