Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-5-2017


Spatial navigation and memory are impaired in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and may be a defining behavioral marker of preclinical AD. Nevertheless, limitations of diagnostic criteria for prodromal AD and within animal models of AD make characterization of preclinical AD difficult. A new rat model (TgF344-AD) of AD overcomes many of these limitations, though spatial navigation and memory has not been comprehensively assessed. This study aimed to characterize. Using three paradigms of the Morris Water Maze, spatial navigation and memory were assessed in TgF344-AD (n=16) and Fischer 344 (n=12) male and female rats over three time points. TgF344-AD females exhibited navigational deficits at 4.5 months while TgF344-AD males show impairment at 10.5 months. Furthermore, TgF344-AD males demonstrate acute reference memory impairment at 10.5 months whereas TgF344-AD females are unimpaired. Across all time points, cued navigation, spatial working memory and reference memory remain largely intact between subjects. Overall, these results indicated TgF344-AD rats exhibit comparable deficits to those found in individuals with MCI and provides further evidence of sexual dimorphisms of AD.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Benjamin Clark

Second Committee Member

James Cavanagh

Third Committee Member

Laurel Sillerud



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Psychology Commons