Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marion Preest

Reader 2

Hou Ung

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©2019 Monica Lopez


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in the United States (Alzheimer’s Association, 2019). Individuals with Down syndrome are at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with Down syndrome have an extra or partial copy of chromosome 21. The amyloid precursor protein gene, APP, is theorized to be one of the most common genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with Down syndrome have an extra copy of the APP gene, which makes individuals with Down syndrome vulnerable to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Little is known about the neuropathological pathway and function of APP in Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. I propose the generation of Drosophila melanogaster transgenic lines expressing human wild-type (WT) APP and multiple mutant APP (m-APP) to observe the effect of m-APP expression on neuron atrophy associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This study may provide a better understanding of the pathological pathway of APP and how APP interacts with other genes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Better understanding APP’s neurological and pathological pathway will assist in uncovering the effect of APP in individuals with Down syndrome who develop Alzheimer’s disease.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.