A Computational Biochemical Model of Insulin Resistance in Parkinson’s Disease

Hello! I’m Ellie Braatz, a rising senior Neuroscience major and Chemistry minor working in Dr. Randolph Coleman’s lab. This summer I plan on developing a computational model of insulin resistance in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra area of the brain. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include motor and behavioral problems such as tremors, rigidity, and an increased risk of dementia, depression, and anxiety. Insulin resistance, caused by a diet high in fats and sugars, is a precursor to type-II diabetes. With an aging population that exhibits an increasing tendency toward obesity, these two conditions are likely to converge more frequently in the near future.

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