Title page for ETD etd-08162010-102550


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Rojas, Ana
Author's Email Address arojas1@lsu.edu
URN etd-08162010-102550
Title A Study of the Elongation of Fibrils of the Alzheimer's Amyloid Beta Protein with a Coarse-Grained Force Field
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Physics & Astronomy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Browne, Dana Committee Chair
Kurtz, Richard L. Committee Member
Scheraga, Harold A. Committee Member
Sprunger, Phillip T. Committee Member
Lee, Yong-Hwan Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • protein folding
  • misfolding disease
  • molecular dynamics
  • simulations
Date of Defense 2010-07-12
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disorder named after the German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, who first described the disease in 1906. AD is a form of dementia, characterized by impairment of memory and other intellectual abilities, caused by the loss of neurons and synapses (the structures that permit communication between neurons) in certain regions of the brain. Although the mechanism by which neurons are affected is not yet well understood, research points to a small protein, the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta), as the first suspect. Ab chains are present in the brains of healthy individuals, but in AD patients, they associate and form clumps that deposit outside neurons, and are believed to trigger the disease.

In this dissertation, I use computational methods to study the behavior of the structures formed by Ab chains, when they associate with each other, and how these structures grow. The goal of this work is to use computational methods to complement

experimental results by filling the gaps about structural and association mechanism that cannot be accessed by experiments.

Files
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