Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Fang Ju Lin


Sleep disorders are commonly reported in Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating, age-related neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in the brain. Recently, several studies have suggested a role for sleep abnormalities and the internal "body clock" known as the circadian system, in the disease onset and progression. Since most of the data has been collected from mammals with complex neural circuitry, the molecular and cellular mechanisms that integrate the two neural networks are still limited. This study examined the relationship between circadian rhythmicity and Alzheimer's Disease presentation using a Drosophila model. Flies were crossed using the GAL4-UAS system to display Alzheimer's disease neuropathology. Flies were then subjected to (3) weekly negative geotaxis assays to measure fly motility and circadian rhythmicity was observed using a locomotor assay. Results from the study suggest that circadian arrhythmicity may contribute to advanced neurodegeneration as flies with arrhythmic circadian cycles were associated with lower motility in the geotaxis assay. While the cause-and-effect relationship is not entirely conclusive, this study can serve as a basis for future experiments that seek to expand our knowledge of the disease neuropathology and related molecular/cellular mechanisms.

Included in

Biology Commons