Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Elizabeth Kline; Peter Gogarten

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology


Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs, or DREADDs, is a chemogenetic technique which, in recent years, has risen to prominence as a way to activate or deactivate targeted brain areas. This has granted scientists access to new tools in exploring treatment options for several neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease. This review investigates how Parkinson's research has been shaped by DREADD-based techniques, and provides summaries of results found by this method. This includes links between Parkinson’s and orexin neurons, α-Synuclein, along with deep brain stimulation and biotherapeutics. The goal of this review is to describe a chemogenetic technique which is vital to several recent studies, discuss its possible limitations, and provide a picture of the path and applicability of the technique moving forward.