Hey teens – how well do you focus?

According to new research, those who have trouble with attention may suffer from depression later (“Brain activity,” 2019).

“Proper coordination of frontoinsular brain networks help us regulate our attention between external goals and self-focused or emotional thinking. But abnormalities in the coordination between these networks were not only evident in teens with more severe depression, but also, critically, predicted increased depressive symptoms two weeks later,” (“Brain activity,” 2019).

Teenagers undergo a wealth of changes as their brain develops, their bodies grow, and their emotions are tested, often causing mood swings. Studies of the brain show that teens who aren’t as goal-oriented and are more self-focused are more likely to report larger increases in depressive mood two weeks after being tested with a computer game involving emotional imagery (“Brain activity,” 2019).

Further analysis of the frontoinsular network could help researchers determine the onset of depression in teens – “ ‘This very interesting study highlights the important role that frontoinsular circuits, [ and how it may play] in regulating our mood, and how impairment in the function of this network may underlie present and ongoing negative mood states,’” stated Cameron Carter, MD, and Editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging (“Brain activity,” 2019).

Reference: Elsevier. (2019, May 30). Brain activity in teens predicts future mood health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 2, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530101131.htm

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