Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Fang-Ju Lin


According to the CDC, approximately 5.8 million Americans suffered from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in 2020. AD is characterized by progressive memory loss and typically develops after the age of 60. There are many studies that suggest different causes of Alzheimer’s such as oxidative damage, amyloid plaque buildup, and metabolic dysfunction. Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that is found in many tissues within the body and functions within cellular metabolism. The enzyme catalyzes the reversible reaction that converts lactate to pyruvate coupled with the reduction of NAD+ to NADH. Pyruvate is then used in the Krebs cycle to create ATP. In a study conducted by the University of Western Ontario, it was observed that Alzheimer’s patients showed an increase in LDH gene expression and enzymatic activity. With this knowledge, the contents of this research use fruit flies implanted with human Alzheimer’s (Drosophila melanogaster) to observe the effects of LDH RNAi. To further model the disease, the flies were crossed with a strain that carried human Aβ42. To measure the effects of the LDH RNAi the lifespan of the flies and their locomotor function was monitored. It was shown that downregulating RNAi through LDH inhibitors increased the life span of the flies as well as their locomotor function.