Large NIH study to collect and share data on the impact on kids’ brains of screen time and other social, behavioral, physical and environmental factors

NIH Study Probes Impact of Heavy Screen Time on Young Brains (Bloomberg):

Brain scans of ado­les­cents who are heavy users of smart­phones, tablets and video games look dif­fer­ent from those of less active screen users, pre­lim­i­nary results from an ongo­ing study fund­ed by the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health show … That’s the find­ing of the first batch of scans of 4,500 nine- to 10-year-olds. Sci­en­tists will fol­low those chil­dren and thou­sands more for a decade to see how child­hood expe­ri­ences, includ­ing the use of dig­i­tal devices, affect their brains, emo­tion­al devel­op­ment and men­tal health…

Ear­ly results from the $300 mil­lion study, called Ado­les­cent Brain Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment (ABCD), have deter­mined that chil­dren who spend more than two hours of dai­ly screen time score low­er on think­ing and lan­guage tests. A major data release is sched­uled for ear­ly 2019 … Teenagers now spend an aver­age of 4 1/2 hours a day on their mobile phones, “60 Min­utes” reported.”

The Study:

ABCD study com­pletes enroll­ment, announces oppor­tu­ni­ties for sci­en­tif­ic engage­ment (Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health release):

The Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health announced today that enroll­ment for the Ado­les­cent Brain Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment (ABCD) Study is now com­plete and, in ear­ly 2019, sci­en­tists will have access to base­line data from all ABCD Study participants.

There are 11,874 youth, ages 9–10, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the study, includ­ing 2,100 young peo­ple who are twins or triplets. All will be fol­lowed through young adulthood…

The study—being con­duct­ed at 21 research sites around the country—will use advanced neu­roimag­ing to observe brain devel­op­ment in chil­dren through­out ado­les­cence, while track­ing social, behav­ioral, phys­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors that may affect brain devel­op­ment and oth­er health outcomes.

Anonymized study data are being made avail­able to the broad research com­mu­ni­ty on a reg­u­lar basis. This will allow sci­en­tists to ana­lyze data and ask nov­el ques­tions that were not even antic­i­pat­ed in the orig­i­nal study plan­ning. Offer­ing these data while the study is in progress means that both ABCD inves­ti­ga­tors and non-ABCD researchers will have access to the datasets to pur­sue their own research interests…

Researchers inter­est­ed in access­ing these data can vis­it the NIMH Data Archive. As find­ings are pub­lished in var­i­ous jour­nals by both ABCD inves­ti­ga­tors and oth­er sci­en­tists, study coor­di­na­tors will con­tin­ue to post infor­ma­tion on the study web­site.”

The Study in Context:

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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