Recent Brain Research Shines A Light On Mental Illness In Teens

Recent Brain Research Shines A Light On Mental Illness In Teens

mental illness in teensThroughout adolescence we are constantly developing physically and mentally. How do these changes and maturities effect our overall wellbeing and mental health? CBS News recently released an article discussing new research that has discovered how teens’ brains mature and how that can explain the development of mental illness in teens.

The Research on Mental Illness in Teens

Researchers used MRI scans to compare the brain structures of nearly 300 teens between the ages of 14 to 24. The scientists discovered that the brain’s outer region (cortex) becomes thinner as teens get older. At the same time, they saw that levels of myelin (the material that covers nerve fibers and enables them to communicate efficiently) increased within the cortex. These increases were seen in regions of the brain that act as connection points between other regions.

Further investigation revealed that the brain regions undergo the greatest changes during teen years are also greatly associated to genes found linked to mental illness in teens. Researchers state:

“Adolescence can be a difficult transitional period and it’s when we typically see the first signs of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.

This study gives us a clue why this is the case: It’s during these teenage years that those brain regions that have the strongest link to (mental illness in teens) risk genes developing most rapidly.”

Providing Guidance for Teens

Mental illness in teens is extremely common within our society. Unfortunately, due to the stigma on mental health most teens do not receive the help they need. It is important that parents make sure to communicate with youth about mental illness in teens and the importance of being open. Youth battling mental illness in teens shouldn’t feel judged, providing a welcoming and judgment free space can be beneficial for ensuring they feel comfortable coming to you for help. If your child is struggling with mental illness in teens, there are programs available that can help.

ViewPoint Center Can Help!

ViewPoint Center is a mental health hospital for teens, ages 12 to 17. At ViewPoint Center, we provide superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center helps struggling teens, contact us today at 801-825-5222!


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