Brain development study receives $290M to continue

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The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study recently received nearly $290 million in new funding to continue for seven years.

The study is the largest in the United States that examines brain development and child health. Researchers began following 11,750 children in 2015 who were either age nine or 10. Research is expected to continue for at least a decade.

“The next phase of the ABCD study will help us understand the effects of substance use, as well as environmental, social, genetic, and other biological factors on the developing adolescent brain,” Dr. Nora D. Volkow, National Institutes of Health director, said. “Since the participants are now in their vulnerable middle school years or are beginning high school, this is a critical time to learn more about what enhances or disrupts a young person’s life trajectory.”

The fund will be sent to sites where children are assessed as well as the Coordinating Center and Data Analysis Informatics & Resource Center at the University of California at San Diego.

Researchers are tracking variables that could affect brain development, cognitive skills, and mental health, including the children’s sleep patterns, engagement in sports and arts, screen time activities, and exposures to drugs.

The children are assessed once or twice per year.

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