Small study finds rapid brain maturation in pandemic kids

For the Go Figure Department:

A small study finds rapid brain maturation in pandemic kids

By Freda Kreier

… Exactly what part of the pandemic may have shaped teen brains is unclear. But “this study shows that the pandemic has had a material impact on brain maturation,” says Joan Luby, a child psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, who wasn’t involved in the research.

Gotlib suspects that stress is to blame. Previous studies have shown that exposure to violence or negligence can lead to accelerated brain maturation in children. Considering that mental health plummeted for teens during the pandemic (SN: 9/8/22), “it’s not a big leap” to think that the stressful conditions could also have shaped brain development in his study’s cohort, Gotlib says.

But what caused the alterations and what implications they may have are still open questions. …

Maturation in Adolescents: Implications for Analyzing Longitudinal Data

Open AccessPublished:December 01, 2022


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress and disruption for young people, likely leading to alterations in their mental health and neurodevelopment. In this context, it is not clear whether youth who lived through the pandemic and its shutdowns are comparable psychobiologically to their age- and sex-matched peers assessed before the pandemic. This question is particularly important for researchers who are analyzing longitudinal data that span the pandemic.


In this study we compared carefully matched youth assessed before the pandemic (*n=*81) and after the pandemic-related shutdowns ended (*n=*82).


We found that youth assessed after the pandemic shutdowns had more severe internalizing mental health problems, reduced cortical thickness, larger hippocampal and amygdala volume, and more advanced brain age.


Thus, not only does the COVID-19 pandemic appear to have led to poorer mental health and accelerated brain aging in adolescents, but it also poses significant challenges to researchers analyzing data from longitudinal studies of normative development that were interrupted by the pandemic.

Another example of why we must consider the environment when we consider human consciousness, or any other consciousness. It’s a constant exchange of feedback loops.

It’s in line with us being born premature, we’re dependent on our parents and tribe those first few years, in exchange, we are adapted to current conditions. Whereas many other mammals, their offspring are capable of fending for themselves within days, if not hours, but for that, they are adapted to the conditions their ancestors had to deal with, so changing condition is particularly difficult on them.

Children today have been exposed to low level elctric magnetic radiation their entire lives.There are cell towers everywhere and everything in a modern home puts out a signal.Its a known health issue causing cancer depression and has been linked to suicide.It also can damage DNA.We assume it does not effect everyone being low level but no long term studies have been done.
There is something seriuosly wrong when half the children are on medication for depression and the thought of suicide has skyrocketed with them I was shocked by the numbers released.They seem to be lost not knowing who they are like a connection has been lost.

You know children have been exposed to whole bunch of bad, bad things besides that. Yes, we’ve really screwed the pooch. Too many assumptions, too much ignoring scientific warning, too much self-delusion, too much gluttony, too much greed, too much resentment towards others, and all in all too dang crowded, etc.

Where do we go from here?

Not sure where you got that information, but no link between cancer and the radiation from cell phones and other devices has been found.

Is the radiation from cell phones harmful?
Cell phones emit radiation in the radiofrequency region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Second-, third-, and fourth-generation cell phones (2G, 3G, 4G) emit radiofrequency in the frequency range of 0.7–2.7 GHz. Fifth-generation (5G) cell phones are anticipated to use the frequency spectrum up to 80 GHz.

These frequencies all fall in the nonionizing range of the spectrum, which is low frequency and low energy. The energy is too low to damage DNA. By contrast, ionizing radiation, which includes x-rays, radon, and cosmic rays, is high frequency and high energy. Energy from ionizing radiation can damage DNA. DNA damage can cause changes to genes that may increase the risk of cancer.
The NCI fact sheet Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer lists sources of radiofrequency radiation. More information about ionizing radiation can be found on the Radiation page.
The human body does absorb energy from devices that emit radiofrequency radiation. The only consistently recognized biological effect of radiofrequency radiation absorption in humans that the general public might encounter is heating to the area of the body where a cell phone is held (e.g., the ear and head). However, that heating is not sufficient to measurably increase core body temperature. There are no other clearly established dangerous health effects on the human body from radiofrequency radiation.

As for the rise in mental illness among young people, that seems to be due to a lack of real social interaction.

But they need not damage DNA at all. They might damage microtubules and that is the network from which consciousness itself emerges. (see thread on Microtubules).

And the microtubule network deals with extremely low levels of EM wave functions. Roger Penrose proposes that microtubules perform at Quantum level itself.

And a world of diminishing opportunities.

It’s going to get worse. People have lost their own center. That is having accepted, one’s own particular self, life, body, circumstance, and the stream of time, the aging that never slows down and keeps adding up. In the end each of us means nothing. It’s all futile, in the end, dust in the wind.
The grand curve of life, traveling from the point of your birth to the point of your death.

Okay, so be it, why should that take away my attention from this particular miraculous moment I’m experiencing?
I am here, I am alive, I am an aware member of Earth’s most fantastical biological species, if a murderous and suicidal one.

We all get less than we think we deserve. We all die. That’s part of the human condition.
So each has an individual choice:
What will I be present too.
What will I do with this moment I’ve been given, the rest of the world be damned, it’s between you, yourself, your body, and this moment right here and now. Then we die.

Does that fill you with despair?
It’s filled me with internal solidity, although the getting here took plenty of effort.

I have had nearly a half century of collecting & processing information and experiences to arrive at this point.

So I appreciate this isn’t really about trying to convince anyone of anything they aren’t interested in. It’s a message for those isolated souls out there with whom it already resonates. They’ll get something of it.

Somewhere shortly after High School, I fully realized the Biblical God was a nasty trickster. A very petty tyrant in fact. That really pissed off this brash youngster, and my prayers became harsh, like a kid who’s realized his dad has betrayed him, I explicitly rejecting him and shamed him for being a fraud
because I discovered (with a time spent getting to know the natural world and the deep history of how it got here), that any god who had a hand in creating and sustaining all of this, could never ever never get to the lowlife pettiness, and double talk that was standard fare for the Bible and the god it described.

It was a good break I never looked back on, and with every year it made more and more sense of who and what I was.

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I think you’re overshooting it. These kids need friends instead of social media likes.

Yeah, okay.
Of course, I do that sometimes. One thing leads to another.

Regarding kids, yes constructive interaction is key. Given these past years of spending real time with a couple grandsons, it’s in my thoughts every time I’m out there. Both started day school quite young; they rolled right into class room living all day with a dozen other kids, on a routine. They’re fine with it and come home with wider horizons than before.
Or kids that have grown up doing chores with their parents from young ages, that makes a big difference in how they handle work & situations later in life.
Kids that have adults around who actually stop and listen to them, treat them like people, rather than things, that’s big too. I wasn’t belittling any of that.

It’s what kids need, but too many, get too little. It is a tragedy.

@thatoneguy Do you believe everything the government tells you? Keep in mind, they are the same people who sided with the gas companies until the pressure to take lead out of gas, paint, etc became too great. They are also the same people who sided with cigarette companies about the safety of cigs, until it became way too obvious that the science is right. The government is the same agency that protects greedy corporations. That said, though, the truth might be somewhere in between the scare tactics and what the government states, when it comes to cell phones.

The government is just repeating what all researchers find. I have no reason to distrust the research. Also, we have been surrounded by these waves for a long time and there is no unusual increase in brain cancers.

Are you sure about that? I mean, after all, they repeated what the researchers said at oil and tobacco companies for years., but those researchers were paid paid by the tobacco and oil companies. So yeah, they’re repeating what the researchers find- those who work for the cellular companies that is. Even when it comes to the government, you can’t trust everything they say. You also have to question where they are getting their info to and it’s not always from reliable sources anymore then it is with other people.

I guess it is possible that every reputable research organization is on the take. I doubt it, though.

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There still are some decent and honest people left, although I doubt any of them are Republicans. That party is no longer plain old corrupt, it is no longer based on constitutional principles at all.

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