Therapeutic Mitochondria Delivery to Astrocytes for Ischemic Stroke; The Effect of Causative Beliefs of Major Depression and Schizophrenia on the Stigma, Treatment, and Well-being of Patients

Copeland, Caitleen, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Price, Richard, EN-Biomed Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Gorick, Catherine, Engineering Graduate, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot lodged in an artery supplying blood to the brain and is a leading cause of death in the US. Although there are treatments to remove the clot and replenish blood flow to the brain, current treatments do not address the damage to mitochondria that occurs as a result of an ischemic stroke. The dysfunctional mitochondria are transferred from astrocytes to neurons, continuing the ischemic cascade and leading to further post-stroke complication and disabilities. Transfer of mitochondria has been seen to improve myocardial function in patients with myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury. Therefore, the goal of this project was to determine which tissue source (cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, or adipose tissue) provides the most effective mitochondria for maximum uptake and ATP production in astrocytes. Cardiac mitochondria were found to have significantly higher ATP production per mitochondria than all other types of mitochondria when not in cells. When mitochondria were added to astrocytes, peridroplet adipose mitochondria exhibited the highest ATP production in astrocytes at a quantity that was significantly higher than cardiac and cytoplasmic adipose mitochondria. Skeletal mitochondria were found to have the highest uptake in astrocytes at a significantly higher rate than all other types of mitochondria, but all types were uptaken at a high level. Based on these results, peridroplet adipose mitochondria had the highest ATP production in astrocytes, high uptake in astrocytes, and adipose tissue provided the quickest removal that would have the shortest recovery time in human patients. Therefore, peridroplet adipose mitochondria was determined to be the most effective therapeutic for treatment of ischemic stroke in order to decrease mitochondrial dysfunction and post-stroke complications in patients.

Over the past 70 years, there have been several differing opinions on what factors can play a role in the development of major depression and schizophrenia. These differing opinions have as a result affected the lives of those living these mental disorders. Therefore, the research question for the STS research paper is “How do public beliefs on environmental factors as a causative factor in the development of mental illness affect the stigma, treatment, and well-being of major depression and schizophrenic patients?” In order to conduct the research for this topic, documentary research methods are utilized because they provide a large and unbiased source of information. The analysis for the topic is conducted through the framework of paradigm shift. The paradigm shift primarily focuses on the shift in thinking of considering mental illness only in terms of a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters to also taking into account the environmental factors that work to instigate their development. Additionally, paradigm shift is used to analyze how the views of medical education and the medical community fall behind that of the general public. The research outlines what the most influential environmental factors are to the development of major depression and schizophrenia and how public belief of environmental factors affects stigma towards patients with the diseases. Additionally, the content of the paper can help to educate both the general public and the medical community about the role environmental factors play in the development of the mental disorders so that they can be better considered in the treatment and prevention of both major depression and schizophrenia.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Paradigm Shift, Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria, Cardiac Muscle Mitochondria, Adipose Tissue Mitochondria, Peridroplet Mitochondria, Mental Illness

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisors: Richard Price and Catherine Gorick
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Emma Taylor-Fishwick

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