The Harker SchoolClass of 2024Santa Clara, California
AboutArjun is a junior at The Harker School. He is interested in biology and is currently researching neurodegenerative disease. In addition to publishing papers and conducting lab work, Arjun loves to compete in Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, and USABO. In his free time, Arjun loves to create animations, edit videos, and create digital art.
- "The Emerging Role of Oligodendrocytes in Neurodegenerative Disease" with mentor Rahul (Oct. 20, 2022)
Arjun's Symposium Presentation
The Emerging Role of Oligodendrocytes in Neurodegenerative Disease
Started Feb. 26, 2022
Abstract or project description
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative dual proteinopathy that is traditionally described by a cascade of neuronal death. More recently, however, non-neuronal cells have emerged as key players in AD pathology. Specifically, oligodendrocytes, which are the most prevalent cell type in the CNS, are implicated in dysfunction. My paper proposes a three-pronged model for this oligodendrocyte disruption. Firstly, myelinating oligodendrocytes are disrupted by cytotoxic protein aggregates, which leads to demyelination. Second, oxidative stress inhibits oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) differentiation into mature oligodendrocytes. Lastly, OPC proliferation is significantly decreased, leading to a reduction in population size. Additionally, myelin breakdown facilitates amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation, which further causes myelin breakdown. My paper, therefore, proposes a cyclical model for Aβ interaction with myelin as well as potential therapeutic avenues and areas for further investigation.