June 2011

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Neurodegeneration can be described as the progressive decline in central nervous system (CNS) function resulting from cell death or cellular dysfunction within nervous tissue, most notably the brain. There is no cure for neurodegenerative disorders, largely due to the post-mitotic nature of neurons and to the difficulty in reestablishing disruptions within the highly-integrated CNS circuitry of mammals. Hence, neurodegeneration is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide. A better understanding of the cellular mechanisms that lead to cell death in the CNS, as well as a better understanding of processes that prevent cell death, is crucial towards developing more effective neuroprotective strategies. This thesis takes two different approaches to investigate neurodegenerative and neuroprotective mechanisms at the cellular level. The first approach (Chapters 2 and 3) begins from the observations that sex is a risk factor in ischemic brain injury and that a potential neuropr




Neuroscience Graduate Program


School of Medicine



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