FURI | Spring 2023

A Feeding Apparatus to Interrogate Motor Deficits in a Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Health icon, disabled. A red heart with a cardiac rhythm running through it.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with the risk of developing the disease doubling every five years after the age of 65 and 10.7% of individuals of this age having the disease. AD begins long before the appearance of classical symptoms like memory loss in a stage known as “preclinical AD”; however, no methods yet exist to reliably detect/diagnose AD at this preclinical stage. In recent years, fine motor performance has proven to be a viable predictor of AD before other symptoms appear, however, the physiologic basis of this phenomenon requires further investigation. Researchers developed an apparatus to replicate in rodents the fine motor task already employed in human research cohorts. Such an apparatus will set the stage for future investigation of the basic physiologic basis of the fine motor deficits that precede the clinical onset of AD.

Student researcher

Akash Arunesh Kuppravalli

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024