Brain Continues to Develop Longer Than Previously Thought

It has long been thought that the human brain stops developing during adolescence, but recent research has demonstrated that our brains actually continue to develop even after we enter our twenties. The study, conducted in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, was the first long-range study to show that the brain continues to undergo structural changes during young adulthood.

The researchers, Christian Beaulieu and Catherine Lebel, scanned the brains of 103 healthy people between the ages of 5 and 32 with MRI technology. Their scans showed that young adult brains were still developing wiring to the frontal lobe, connections which are responsible for complex cognitive tasks such as inhibition, high-level functioning and attention. They also discovered that some people showed reductions in white matter integrity over time; researched further, they believe this could help to improve understanding of the relationship between psychiatric disorders and brain structure.

"What's interesting is a lot of psychiatric illness and other disorders emerge during adolescence, so some of the thought might be if certain tracts start to degenerate too soon, it may not be responsible for these disorders, but it may be one of the factors that makes someone more susceptible to developing these disorders," says Beaulieu.

"It's nice to provide insight into what the brain is doing in a healthy control population and then use that as a springboard so others can ask questions about how different clinical disorders like psychiatric disease and neurological disease may be linked to brain structure as the brain progresses with age."

Source: Medical News Today

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

More Articles

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...

The question of whether people with schizophrenia know they are ill is actually quite...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, and there are a number of...

Acute schizophrenia is what most people think of when they think of schizophrenia: varying...