First Advisor

Martin Kelly

Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biochemistry and University Honors






Alzheimer's Disease, Mammillary Bodies, neuroscience, limbic system, glutamate, beta amyloid




Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. With minimal treatment options and no cure, developing a deeper understanding of the pathology of the disease is crucial. For nearly four decades, the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques has been correlated with the disease and its progression. Previous studies mapping this accumulation show that the mammillary bodies (MB) are an early target of the disease. Glutamatergic neurons are of key interest due to their prevalence in the central nervous system, specifically the MB. To understand the effects of AD on the glutamatergic system, we used vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) immunocytochemical as an indicator of glutamate activity. In the MB, we identified VGLUT2 as being overexpressed alongside the production of Aβ. Additionally, through patch clamp electrophysiology we determined the MB to be in a hyperexcited state.


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