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.
For many people, the holidays are a time to indulge their sweet tooth. As consumption increases, so too does our interest in sugar. A Google trend analysis for the search term “sugar” in Canada reveals that, while interest in sugar has grown over time, it consistently spikes in December every year.
What can this simple analysis tell us about the psychology of indulging in sweet treats over the holidays?