Week 3: Mastering The Technique
Welcome back! Last Week, I discussed my trip to the University of Chicago to learn electrophysiological techniques and how to utilize machines that are necessary for the experiment. Moreover, I included pictures to document what machines I will be using. On my last day in the lab, my professor suggested that I should watch YouTube videos to master the Patch-Clamp process and also recommended to begin writing a research paper.
Fast forward to this week, I have finished the abstract for my research paper and I am currently watching videos on the Patch-Clamp process so I can come to the lab prepared next time to conduct the experiment.
Here is the abstract I have written:
Motor disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease (PD), are a prevalent and significant health issue in the United States, affecting approximately 42 million individuals. PD is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, leading to a range of symptoms including tremors, involuntary movement, bradykinesia, and rigidity. The disorder can present in two forms: idiopathic and sporadic. Idiopathic PD arises from various causes, while sporadic PD has a hereditary component. Symptoms such as tremors, involuntary movement, bradykinesia, or rigidity are common in patients with PD. In my research, I am studying the response of action potentials in the cerebral cortex of a Zebra Finch when treated with the drug 4-aminopyridine, intending to create a model for motor disorders. 4-Aminopyridine acts by blocking specific potassium-voltage-gated channels, leading to a constant influx of depolarization which results in muscle contractions. Given that muscle contractions are a common symptom of PD, it is important for future researchers to work together to develop pharmacotherapies with improved efficacy to address the diverse ways in which PD can manifest. The need for more effective treatments is especially pressing as current drugs such as Levodopa may exhibit negative effects when used over the long term. Through this review, I aim to provide a neuroscience perspective on the dynamic interactions between PD and environmental factors and to inform the development of potent countermeasures to address this complex and debilitating disorder. I hope that this research will contribute to a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying PD and pave the way for the development of more effective treatments for those affected by this condition.
Here are the videos I am studying:
Next week, I plan to continue to study this technique and also work on my research paper. In a few weeks, when I’m ready, I will travel back to the lab to conduct the experiment. See you next post!