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Restless led syndrome model Drosophila melanogaster show successful olfactory learning and 1-day retention of the acquired memory

Author(s): Mika F. Asaba | Adrian A. Bates | Hoa M. Dao | Mika J. Maeda

Journal: Impulse : an Undergraduate Journal for Neuroscience
ISSN 1934-3361

Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: sleep disorder | olfactory conditioning

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a prevalent but poorly understood disorder that ischaracterized by uncontrollable movements during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbance.Olfactory memory in Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be a useful tool for the study ofcognitive deficits caused by sleep disturbances, such as those seen in RLS. A recently generatedDrosophila model of RLS exhibited disturbed sleep patterns similar to those seen in humans withRLS. This research seeks to improve understanding of the relationship between cognitivefunctioning and sleep disturbances in a new model for RLS. Here, we tested learning andmemory in wild type and dBTBD9 mutant flies by Pavlovian olfactory conditioning, duringwhich a shock was paired with one of two odors. Flies were then placed in a T-maze with oneodor on either side, and successful associative learning was recorded when the flies chose theside with the unpaired odor. We hypothesized that due to disrupted sleep patterns, dBTBD9mutant flies would be unable to learn the shock-odor association. However, the current studyreports that the recently generated Drosophila model of RLS shows successful olfactorylearning, despite disturbed sleep patterns, with learning performance levels matching or betterthan wild type flies.

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