Description 1.) Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the dopamine-containing neurons in the substania nigra that control muscle movement. People with Parkinson’s experience trembling, muscle rigidity, difficulty walking and problems with balance. Parkinson’s disease usually develops after age 50 but a small number of younger people are also affected. Parkinson’s Disease and Aging The loss of dopamine containing cells in Parkinson’s disease is actually an extreme form of the natural loss of dopamine cells that occurs during normal aging. Debate whether this is an indication that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are a natural result of growing old or whether these symptoms occur when we get older because of environmental insults. Discuss what type of research studies would be necessary to separate these two ideas. 2.) What is the most interesting thing you have learned thus far? If you have not learned anything interesting about the brain, then what is the most useless topic covered in this class? Lastly, how has this class helped you explain emotion regulation, mindfulness, and /or behavior? REPLY TO #1: I think both age and environment have something to do with getting Parkinson’s disease. Its obvious that age plays the biggest part but I’m curious to see if Parkinson’s disease is more common in places that are snow are that are just cold in general. If the weather is harder on the person the onset of Parkinson’s disease might occur more rapid or more severe. A study they could use is to get a group of 100 patients that have Parkinson’s disease and see what age they got it and where they have lived throughout their lives. We would be able to find out if the younger men or women on the list had environmental impacts affecting their disease. #2 Parkinson’s disease is most likely to occur due to natural aging and the fact that the human body tends to shut down certain mechanisms of the brain which eventually effects a human being’s motor skills and eventual movement of the body. Most Parkinson’s related symptoms tend to occur past the age of 50 yet it can occur at an earlier age, an example would be Michael J. Fox and his early occurring symptoms at the age of 29. Parkinson’s disease as a result of the environment you are around is such a rare occurrence as most cases have an exposure to either pesticides or other agricultural exposure, so a lot of workers on farms have a higher risk of exposure due to the the chemicals that they have to use to keep crops and animals in a well working state in order to make a proper living yet the occupational risk factors of Parkinson’s disease are slim to none. As a result of aging, Parkinson’s disease is most likely to occur as we age and not due to environmental factors that most human beings are not even exposed to.
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