Stories about: teen brain

Could monitoring Facebook impact drinking in college?

A new study published in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine suggests that the majority of college students who post on Facebook about drunkenness and dangerous drinking habits are also at a higher risk for alcohol abuse and dependence.

The message seems fairly obvious, but the real interesting takeaway of the study is the researchers’ suggestions about how that information could be used.

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Health headlines: Eczema, triplets and growing pains

triplet girlsOther stories we’ve been reading:

Another court case rules that vaccines don’t cause autism. Eczema drugs need tougher warnings. Deep brain stimulation reduces epileptic seizures. [Read one patient’s story of how brain stimulation is keeping her epileptic seizures at bay.]

Kids do outgrow their growing pains. More strides are seen in pediatric orthopedic surgery. Naughty children are more likely to report chronic pain as adults.

Babies are born to dance. There’s a rise in triplet births, but the death rates are high.

The First Lady tells food makers to hurry up on making healthy food. PepsiCo pledges not to sell sugary beverages in school. Kraft plans to cut sodium levels in food products. [Read Thrive’s stories on childhood obesity and healthful eating.]

MTV launches an online “morality meter” to help teens understand the difference between “digital use” and “digital abuse.” [Read whether or not parents are legally responsible when their kids engage in sexting.] Learning may be tougher for the teen brain. [Read about Frances Jensen, MD’s research into why teen brains really are different.]

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Teen brains really are different

Your teens may actually have an excuse for their erratic, irrational and even downright odd behavior. Children’s neurologist, Frances Jensen, MD, spoke to NPR about how she discovered that contrary to previous beliefs, human brain development isn’t complete until the early 20’s. A couple of reasons for this are:

  1. A crucial part of the brain — the frontal lobes — are not fully connected.
  2. Adolescents have a much more robust habit-forming ability that is helpful when it comes to learning new things, but also causes an increased risk for addiction.

Read more about Jensen’s findings in this Dream article and watch these videos where Jensen explains why teens behave the way they do.

You can also listen to Jensen’s personal story, as told to NPR, on what sparked her interest in the teen brain.

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