Peacock Scholarship

Effects of Chemical Compounds Found in Cigarette Smoke on Cognitive Ability of Mice

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The purpose of this experiment was to find a conclusive link between smoking and its effects on the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This was evaluated by determining whether certain elements of cigarette smoke affect cognitive ability of mice. Five different groups of mice (control, ammonium hydroxide exposure, methanol exposure, acrylamide exposure, cigarette smoke exposure) attempted to navigate a water maze to complete the Morris water escape task. The experimental method was as follows: the five groups of mice were exposed to the suspected amyloid-inducing chemicals dissolved in their drinking water. The chemical concentrations were proportional to the concentrations human smokers are exposed to in Marlboro Red Full Flavor cigarettes. Over a three week duration, the mice completed the Morris water escape task seven times, with their time to completion recorded. The expected trend was that exposure to chemicals found in cigarette smoke would lead to an increase in the time it takes for that group of mice to navigate the maze. The results obtained actually contradicted this hypothesis: it was found that the control group had the fourth best time amongst the five groups, and one of the experimental groups (acrylamide exposure) was significantly better at solving the maze than the rest. However, these results can only be regarded as preliminary; further testing must be conducted to more positively determine the correlation between chemical exposure and mouse cognitive ability.

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  • 10/14/2020
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