Teen Brains Aged Faster During the Pandemic Study

December 2, 2022 - The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic not only caused mental health problems in some teenagers, but also accelerated the aging process in the adolescent brain, according to new research.
Brain scans of teenagers who experienced the pandemic reveal physical changes not seen in brains of comparable age groups studied before the pandemic, study published in Biological Psychiatry said:
Global Open Science.
Pandemic brain scans showed a decrease in the thickness of the cortex, which controls executive function—the ability to perform tasks such as planning, attention, and reasoning. Scans also showed growth in the amygdala, which controls anxiety and stress, and the hippocampus, which controls access to memory. These changes are ''typical of individuals who are older or have experienced significant childhood adversity,'' the study said.
Lead author Ian Gottlib, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Stanford University, said: ''The difference in brain age was about three years. Considering the lockdown lasted less than a year, we didn't expect that much of an increase. I didn't,'' he said. A Loud Guardian of Research.
The study, which began eight years before him in the San Francisco Bay Area, investigated gender differences in the incidence of depression. According to the study, MRI brain scans were supposed to be done every two years, but that schedule was interrupted by the pandemic.
The researchers ultimately looked at brain scans of his 81 teens taken between November 2016 and November 2019 before the pandemic and between October 2020 and March 2022 during the pandemic. It was compared to scans of 82 teens taken during In addition to physical changes in the brain, the second group reported more mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Gotlib said it wasn't clear if the changes were permanent. We also don't know if accelerated brain aging caused the problem.
According to the Guardian, ''We don't know yet. We will start rescanning all participants at age 20 to better assess whether these changes are continuing or waning over time.'' I'll do it,' he said.

14 Jan 2023