Screening of Possible Life-Extending Compounds in an Animal Model

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Ethan Rosenthal, New York, NY
Alzheimer’s disease, like many neurodegenerative diseases, follows the same pathological progression across multiple species. Caenorhabditis elegans, a well studied nematode, has an average lifespan of 2-3 weeks when healthy and a lifespan of 10-14 days when genetically engineered to express Alzheimer’s pathology. We studied the effects of various types of drugs, including an anti-oxidant, an amino acid, an anti-convulsive, and a sugar alcohol on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in C. elegans, using water as our control. We made solutions for each drug at concentrations previously tested and described in published papers. Every day for the duration of the worms’ lives, we took a video sample of worms exposed to the drugs in separate wells on a 96 well plate. We analyzed these videos using a novel protocol produced by our lab. In each video, we looked for full body movement or the lack of any movement from the C. elegans in solution. Our results indicate that Primidone shows potential use for slowing the progression, while L-glutamic acid slightly sped up the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the worms. These drugs allow us to better understand the impact of various compounds on this relatively poorly understood disease.