The research, presented at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting on November 13, reveals that weaker connections between specific parts of the brain were linked to greater difficulties in coping with pandemic-related stress. This discovery may help explain why some individuals are more resilient to stress than others.
The study, part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, followed hundreds of teenagers over time and leveraged data from before and during the pandemic. The ABCD study, involving scientists from 21 research sites across the United States, aims to understand how teenagers’ brains develop.
The research’s focus on neuroimaging data offers a potential avenue for developing predictive models of future mental health outcomes, including an individual’s resilience to stress and their risk of depression and anxiety during challenging times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of young people, with a growing number facing depression and anxiety, sometimes referred to as “the second pandemic.”