Experimental Effects of Nicotine Exposure Using a Model of Parkinson's Disease in Drosophila Melanogaster

Previous literature has shown that nicotine supplementation has positive effects on those suffering with Parkinson’s Disease. Some studies have found that when supplemented with traditional treatment methods, such as L-DOPA, neurons are protected which reduces disease progression and severity of symptoms. Due to the prominence of nicotine available on the market today and the many forms that it can be administered, we proposed further investigation of this chemical to add support to the growing conversation. Using an accepted model for humans, Drosophila melanogaster, better known as fruit flies, nicotine supplementation will be studied. More specifically, we will investigate nicotine’s effects on brain anatomy, brain function and survival rate. Using Rotenone, an accepted model for Parkinson’s disease in flies, motor function, brain morphology and survival rate will be analyzed. From these experiments, we expect to find no morphological change within the brains of flies supplemented with nicotine. Additionally, we expect to observe no negative effects when subjected to a negative geotaxis assay as well as no detriments to brain morphology.