This is an image I took of a mouse neuron while working on my thesis. I’ve always liked to call neurons our best friends because they care for us, provide us support, and without them, we would struggle to accomplish tasks and goals we set for ourselves. However, just like real friends, a healthy relationship must be maintained. The loss of a friend, also known as neuronal death, can arise through a variety of ways from brain damage, substance abuse to old age. Furthermore, many conditions arise because of premature neuronal death, and the causes behind many of these conditions are still unknown, one of which being Parkinson’s disease. My thesis work focuses on changes that occur in the brain, and the effect of these changes on the circadian system of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
We’re all going to get older — but how do we cope with the types of stress that occur in old age?
As we get older there are many stressors unique to this period of life, and one common feature is that they are often uncontrollable. Uncontrollable stressors are the types of stressors most likely to trigger a biological response in our body, such as increasing the hormone cortisol. Therefore, learning how to cope with the uncontrollable stressors that occur in aging life is not only going to improve ones’ mental health, but their physical health too.