Cassandra L. Fok

Project title: The Effect of Antioxidants on Lipopolysaccharide-induced and Hydrogen Peroxide-induced Toxicity on MES23.5 Cells

Degree: MS (Thesis) | Program: Environmental Toxicology (Tox) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2009 | Faculty advisor: David L. Eaton


Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the destruction of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia niagra pars compacta. These neurons innervate the striatum, the area of the brain associated with smooth motor movements. Upon the destruction of these cells, control over muscle movements becomes impaired. Consequently, PD patients often exhibit tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, postural instability, poor coordination and balance. Secondary symptoms include dementia, sleep disturbances, fatigue, pain and depression. Although treatments exist, all are merely palliative and not permanent cures. Although there is some evidence of a hereditary component of PD, most cases are idiopathic. The average onset of PD is approximately 60 years of age, but cases of people 50 years and younger have been reported. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are about 500,000 people in the U.S. that have PD, but higher estimates have been made. As the baby boomer generation ages, the incidence of PD is speculated to increase, as risk increases with age. This disease will become an increasingly pertinent public health concern, as the current cost of the disease is estimated to be over $6 billion annually. With the projected increase in PD incidence, this cost will inevitably increase as well. Although the specific etiology of PD is unknown, several processes have been implicated. One of which is oxidative stress and consequent neuroinflammation.

Taken from the beginning of thesis.