According to a study released on Thursday, Stanford University researchers found that the COVID-19 epidemic aged youngsters’ brains by nearly three years in addition to significantly higher rates of anxiety and sadness.
The seven researchers analysed MRI scans of teens aged 15 to 18 before and after the pandemic in their study, “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health and Brain Maturation in Adolescents.”
According to reports, the scans also revealed structural alterations in the brain as well as alterations in the regions of the brain in charge of memory, focus, learning, emotion, responsiveness, and judgement.
DEATHS FROM HEART DISEASE AND STROKE INCREASED DURING
They were age-matched, but according to senior author Ian Gotlib, a psychology professor at Stanford University, “their brains appeared older.” It “confirms the stress they underwent throughout the pandemic and the consequences it had on both their mental and neurological health.”
Although the effects of the changes on teens and their future are still unknown, experts in the study said that for the time being, it is proof that teen mental health disorders increased during the pandemic.