The CW program was designed to investigate the morphological effects that plaques might have on surrounding dendrites. The hypothesis is that the growth and subsequent presence of amyloid plaques affects the structural properties of dendrites, affecting the tubules such that the rigidity of these neural connections become curved. The CW program quantitates the width and curvature of dendrites as a function of their length, and serves statistical information on the significance of these changes in relation to the location of the amyloid plaque.
The user interface of the CW program is writen in C++ using the wxWindows toolkit. The program implements the GlCanvas class to draw the digital pictures using the OpenGL API. The OpenGl library is used in order to superpose up to three co-localized images from dendrites, plaques, and phosphorylated tau protein where the superposition uses color and intensity blending.
In the following picture, a screen capture of the CW program is presented where the main window with the triple-labeled picture is displayed along with the (hidden) data window and the controls window (small frame). The colors represent the amyloid (green), healthy dendrites (blue), and tau protein (red):