Dire consequences for an entire generation How did the Corona epidemic negatively affect the brains of adolescents and children?

Dire consequences for an entire generation How did the Corona epidemic negatively affect the brains of adolescents and children? The researchers plan to continue following the same group of adolescents into later adulthood, to see if the coronavirus pandemic has altered their brain development in the long term.  A recent study conducted by researchers from Stanford University, USA, concluded that psychological stress resulting from the outbreak of the Corona epidemic leads to aging of the brains of adolescents.  The study , which was published on December 1, 2022 in the journal "Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science", indicated that the psychological stresses associated with the outbreak of the Corona pandemic changed the structure of the brains of adolescents, and made them appear several years older than the brains of adolescents. peers before the pandemic.  Organic effects on the brain In 2020 alone, cases of anxiety and depression in adults increased by more than 25% compared to previous years, and the new findings indicate that the effects of the epidemic on the psychological and neurological health of adolescents may have been worse.  " We already knew from previous research that the pandemic had negatively affected mental health in young people, but we didn't know if It had an organic effect on their brains."  Gottlieb stated that changes in brain structure occur naturally with age. During puberty and the early teenage years, children's bodies experience increased growth in both the hippocampus and the amygdala, regions of the brain that control access to certain memories and help modulate emotions. At the same time, the tissues of the cerebral cortex, which are involved in executive functions, become thinner.  MRI scans were compared to a group of 163 children and adolescents who were photographed before and during the pandemic, and Gottlieb's study showed that brain growth accelerated in adolescents during the curfew and closures that accompanied the Corona pandemic.  So far, he added, these accelerated changes in "brain age" have only been seen in children who have experienced chronic distress, whether due to violence, neglect, family dysfunction, or a combination of multiple factors that played out during the pandemic.  Brain age and chronological age Gottlieb noted that experiencing adversity is associated with poorer mental health later in life. However, it is unclear if the changes in brain structure that the Stanford research team saw are related to later changes in mental health.  It is also not clear if the changes are permanent, and will their actual age eventually catch up with their brain age? And if their brain always remains older than their chronological age, then it is not It is clear what the results will be in the future.  For someone who is 70 or 80 years old, some cognitive problems and problems with memory are to be expected based on changes in the brain, but what does that mean for 16-year-olds if their brains are aging prematurely?  Post-pandemic is not the same as before Gottlieb also explained that his study was not originally designed to look at the impact of the Corona epidemic on the structure of the brain, but rather it was within the framework of a long-term study on depression during puberty, but when the epidemic broke out, they were unable to perform regularly scheduled MRI scans on these young men.  Once he and his team were able to continue with brain scans of the teens, the study was a year behind schedule.  "After looking at our data, we realized that compared to adolescents evaluated before the pandemic, adolescents evaluated post-pandemic not only had more severe mental health problems, but also decreased cortical thickness, increased volume of the hippocampus and amygdala, and improved lifespan," he added. Their brains are older than their actual age."  These results could have major implications for other longitudinal studies that spanned the epidemic. If children who experienced the epidemic showed accelerated growth in their brains, scientists would have to account for the rate of abnormal growth in any future research that includes this generation, Gottlieb said. It's a global phenomenon, as there's no one who hasn't tested it, so there's no real control group to compare."  Disastrous consequences for an entire generation Co-author Jonas Miller, assistant professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, added that these results may also have serious consequences for an entire generation of adolescents later in life.  "During adolescence, there is already a rapid reorganization of the brain, which is associated with increased rates of mental health problems, depression, and risk-taking behaviour," he said.  And he added, "Now you have this global event, where everyone faced some kind of adversity and turmoil in the daily routine, so this may mean that the brains of children who are 16 or 17 years old today cannot be compared to the brains of their counterparts only a few years ago."  Gottlieb plans to continue to follow the same group of adolescents during their later adulthood in the future, to track the impact of the Corona pandemic if it changed the course of their brain development in the long term, and also plans to monitor the mental health of these adolescents and compare the brain structure of those who were infected with the virus with those who did not. They get it, with the aim of identifying any subtle differences that may have occurred in the structure of the brain.

The researchers plan to continue following the same group of adolescents into later adulthood, to see if the coronavirus pandemic has altered their brain development in the long term.

A recent study conducted by researchers from Stanford University, USA, concluded that psychological stress resulting from the outbreak of the Corona epidemic leads to aging of the brains of adolescents.

The study , which was published on December 1, 2022 in the journal "Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science", indicated that the psychological stresses associated with the outbreak of the Corona pandemic changed the structure of the brains of adolescents, and made them appear several years older than the brains of adolescents. peers before the pandemic.

Organic effects on the brain
In 2020 alone, cases of anxiety and depression in adults increased by more than 25% compared to previous years, and the new findings indicate that the effects of the epidemic on the psychological and neurological health of adolescents may have been worse.

" We already knew from previous research that the pandemic had negatively affected mental health in young people, but we didn't know if It had an organic effect on their brains."

Gottlieb stated that changes in brain structure occur naturally with age. During puberty and the early teenage years, children's bodies experience increased growth in both the hippocampus and the amygdala, regions of the brain that control access to certain memories and help modulate emotions. At the same time, the tissues of the cerebral cortex, which are involved in executive functions, become thinner.

MRI scans were compared to a group of 163 children and adolescents who were photographed before and during the pandemic, and Gottlieb's study showed that brain growth accelerated in adolescents during the curfew and closures that accompanied the Corona pandemic.

So far, he added, these accelerated changes in "brain age" have only been seen in children who have experienced chronic distress, whether due to violence, neglect, family dysfunction, or a combination of multiple factors that played out during the pandemic.

Brain age and chronological age
Gottlieb noted that experiencing adversity is associated with poorer mental health later in life. However, it is unclear if the changes in brain structure that the Stanford research team saw are related to later changes in mental health.

It is also not clear if the changes are permanent, and will their actual age eventually catch up with their brain age? And if their brain always remains older than their chronological age, then it is not It is clear what the results will be in the future.

For someone who is 70 or 80 years old, some cognitive problems and problems with memory are to be expected based on changes in the brain, but what does that mean for 16-year-olds if their brains are aging prematurely?

Post-pandemic is not the same as before
Gottlieb also explained that his study was not originally designed to look at the impact of the Corona epidemic on the structure of the brain, but rather it was within the framework of a long-term study on depression during puberty, but when the epidemic broke out, they were unable to perform regularly scheduled MRI scans on these young men.

Once he and his team were able to continue with brain scans of the teens, the study was a year behind schedule.

"After looking at our data, we realized that compared to adolescents evaluated before the pandemic, adolescents evaluated post-pandemic not only had more severe mental health problems, but also decreased cortical thickness, increased volume of the hippocampus and amygdala, and improved lifespan," he added. Their brains are older than their actual age."

These results could have major implications for other longitudinal studies that spanned the epidemic. If children who experienced the epidemic showed accelerated growth in their brains, scientists would have to account for the rate of abnormal growth in any future research that includes this generation, Gottlieb said. It's a global phenomenon, as there's no one who hasn't tested it, so there's no real control group to compare."

Disastrous consequences for an entire generation
Co-author Jonas Miller, assistant professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, added that these results may also have serious consequences for an entire generation of adolescents later in life.

"During adolescence, there is already a rapid reorganization of the brain, which is associated with increased rates of mental health problems, depression, and risk-taking behaviour," he said.

And he added, "Now you have this global event, where everyone faced some kind of adversity and turmoil in the daily routine, so this may mean that the brains of children who are 16 or 17 years old today cannot be compared to the brains of their counterparts only a few years ago."

Gottlieb plans to continue to follow the same group of adolescents during their later adulthood in the future, to track the impact of the Corona pandemic if it changed the course of their brain development in the long term, and also plans to monitor the mental health of these adolescents and compare the brain structure of those who were infected with the virus with those who did not. They get it, with the aim of identifying any subtle differences that may have occurred in the structure of the brain.
Previous Post Next Post

Translate / Choose Your Language

Answer / Free classified ads / Any information me ⤵️