Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Program

Biological Science


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kimberly D. Rowland


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are associated with immediate and long-term consequences that can be divided into primary and secondary injuries. A primary injury results due to the direct damage inflicted on the brain by the hit, whereas a secondary injury takes more time to manifest due to the cascade of molecular events that lead to cellular damage and death within the brain. This study analyzes mortality as a secondary injury following traumatic brain injury in the presence of a human neurodegenerative genetic risk factor, APOE ε4. The High Impact Trauma (HIT) device developed by Katzenberger et al. (2013) was utilized to inflict TBI in Drosophila melanogaster animal models. To test the efficacy of the device, the mortality index was collected in a wild-type (w1118) fly model subjected to varying numbers of TBIs. As the number of hits increased, the mortality index increased as well. However, further analysis indicated that the same percentage of flies died with each additional hit. This data is representative of what Katzenberger et al. (2013) demonstrated, indicating the efficacy of the HIT device. The UAS-GAL4 genetic system was utilized to input the APOE ε4 gene into a fly model. Fly groups were subjected to either one or five TBIs. The mortality index was calculated at 24 hours, three days, and seven days post-TBI. APOE ε4’s presence had no influence on mortality following one TBI, while it appeared to have minimal effect on mortality at the 7-day time point between the experimental fly line and a control fly line following five TBIs.

Included in

Biology Commons



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