Brain scans may predict teen drug problems

A team of international scientists may have found a way to predict whether teens will develop drug problems in the future from the way their brains are wired.

Researchers from Stanford University assessed 144 adolescents from the age of 14 to the age of 16 through behavioural tests to determine how impulsive and attracted they were to trying new things.


According to the research, drug abuse at the age of 16 can be predicted by the way the brain responds to rewards at the age of 14.

The early work of the research is published in the journal of Nature Communications.

While the research is still in its early stages, its lead author Prof Brian Knutson of Stanford University, says he hopes with more work, these types of tests ‘could better target resources and treatments.’

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