Lockdown, social distancing, solitude are some of the aspects of the Covid experience that they left deep marks on people and adolescents mostly.
Signs on the body, but also and perhaps more in soul and mind since, as confirmed by several studies, they have contributed to increasing anxiety and psychological disorders.
Premature aging for post-pandemic adolescents
Suffice it to say that it is calculated that if on a general level one in 7 people between the ages of 10 and 19 worldwide live with some form of mental disorderthe pandemic has significantly worsened this situation, adding anxiety and depression which recorded a 25% increase in 2020.
Now, however, a new study by Stanford University, published in Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science and conducted on 163 boys, would prove that the pandemic may be responsible for a physical change to the brain of the younger ones, which made him age prematurely.
Processes accelerated in no time
Tests performed on boys, whose brains were photographed by an MRI before and after the pandemic, have shown how the growth of the hippocampus and amygdala e the thinning of the cerebral cortex had definitely accelerated. The brain age difference was about three years, too large given that the blockade lasted less than a year.
Premature aging: only due to severe trauma
These two processes occur in the brain of boys during puberty and occur over a certain period of time. Premature brain aging is not a new phenomenon. Ma until now these changes so fastlike those photographed, they had only been found in boys who had suffered major trauma. Like for example violence in the family, or if they had been abandoned or if they had other serious problems.
Permanent brain changes?
However, the research panelists they still can’t answer to the question if such they may be permanent and if the registry age of those who have been teenagers in the pandemic will ever return to correspond to the mental age.
Certainly there is that compared to the kids analyzed pre pandemic, those analyzed later had more or less serious mental health problems.
The searches continue
Now, the next step in answering the questions whether the marks left by the pandemic will remain or not, will be continue in the study of the same children who took part in the tests, deepening more and more and comparing the brain structure of those who have been infected and those who have not.
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