A Stanford study found that lockdown and pandemic measures accelerate children’s brain aging.
One author stated that they removed all aspects of children’s schooling and socializing.
The study in the San Francisco Bay Area also revealed that children who were kept inside during the pandemic suffered brain structures that were distinct from their peers.
According to the Stanford Neurodevelopment director, “Lockdowns cause children to suffer in a manner that is not clear if it was temporary. ”
The brain age in pandemic-era children is similar to that of children who have been subject to extreme stress levels and chronic adversity. Children who are the victims of violence, neglect, or a combination of both, are most at risk.
Gotlib pointed out that if their brains are permanently older than their chronological years it is not clear what their future will hold. This is based on brain change. What about 16-year-olds?
Jonas Miller was the coauthor of the study. He suggested that teens who have been in lockdowns might end up with brains quite different from what they had in recent years.
Miller stated, “There’s a global phenomenon where everyone is facing some kind of adversity in the form of disruption to their daily lives — it might be that today’s brains of 16- and 17-year-olds may not be comparable to those of just a few years ago.”
Miller stated that “Adolescence”, a period of rapid brain restructuring, has been associated with higher rates of depression and mental health problems.
The study’s original purpose was to investigate depression in puberty. It was altered to include a longer-term analysis because of pandemic protocols.
Studies also showed that pandemics can have negative effects on children. A March 2022 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 37% of high school students suffered from poor mental health and that 44% felt helpless or sad during the COVID-19 outbreak.