The teenage years are “the last, great neuroplastic era in our lifetimes,” according to Steinberg, referring to the brain’s continued capacity for intellectual and emotional growth. The same emerging circuitry that makes teenagers vulnerable to risky behavior and mood swings also confers significant advantage on adolescent learners. To read the full article click here.
“Substance use disorders are related to dysfunction in the brain’s motivational and reward processes, so understanding how the brain’s reward system works is key to finding new therapies.” Click here to read the full article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
The Center for Healthy Minds developed these slides that describe why the brain changes throughout life, but specifically outline the sensitive periods of development when the brain is more pliable including around puberty.
Tip: Regularly drinking alcohol before your teen brain is fully developed can impact impulse-control and the memory and learning areas of the brain.
Brain development is still occurring between the ages of 12-26 and scientific research has shown that binge-drinking or regularly drinking alcohol as a teen can result in irreversible brain change.
The largest known brain imaging study shows that heavy use of marijuana and alcohol accelerate brain aging. To reach the full article, click here
Tip of the Week: Vaping isn’t considered safe for teens because your brain is still developing and can expose you to toxic substances and nicotine.
Exposure to nicotine and toxic substances in vaping devices can cause your breathing to become rapid and shallow, as well as increase heart rate and blood pressure. The vapor can contain volatile organic compounds, flavoring such as diacetyl which is a chemical linked to a serious lung disease and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. Nicotine use can also rewire the brain, which can impact your concentration, learning and impulse control.
“Inside the eighth grade brain, the frontal lobe is growing and interconnecting. This is fantastic news, but patience is required: your child’s frontal lobe won’t reach full maturity and re-structuring until your child is 25 to 30 years old. So for the next 12 to 18 years, they’ll be lured toward risky acts they’re cognitively challenged to resist because they’re still heavily swayed by their limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain.”
To read the full article please click here.