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|December 11, 2018|
Study: How adolescents develop poor stress coping skills
LOMA LINDA – (INT) - A new study published in the journal ‘Brain, Behavior, and Immunity’ shows that adolescent rats who consume a diet high in saturated fats have a harder time coping with stress as adults.
Moreover, researchers from Loma Linda University found that the areas of the brain that handle the fear/stress response were altered to the point that subjects began exhibiting behaviors that mirror post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“The teen years are a very critical time for brain maturation, including how well (or not) we'll cope with stress as adults," said Dr. Johnny Figueroa, Assistant Professor, Division of Physiology, Department of Basic Sciences and Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine. "The findings of our research support that the lifestyle decisions made during adolescence – even those as simple as your diet – can make a big difference in our ability to overcome every day challenges.”
Figueroa said the study leaves some questions open for further investigation, such as replicability in human subjects and if the alterations seen in the brain structures are permanent or whether the effects can be reversed.
Story Date: June 15, 2018