Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study

LABS is a world-first, five-year research project at the Thompson Institute to better understand the adolescent brain. With the help of dedicated young people we're regularly recording how the adolescent brain develops throughout the age of 12 to 17 years. Together we are pursuing ways to prevent the 75% of mental health issues that present before the age of 24 years. It's an ambitious project, but the mental health of young people is worth it.

Using four-monthly brain imaging and neurocognitive assessments, we work with young people from our community to track changes that occur in the brain from ages 12-17 years. This world-leading research will inform the development of evidence-based youth mental health programs to support young people and their families.

Our research now includes questions related to COVID-19, to aid understanding of how youth mental health can be supported through impacts like spatial distancing and feelings of uncertainty. This long-term study is in a unique position to be able to investigate changes in adolescent brain development and mental wellbeing before, during and after the pandemic.

About LABS

The Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that impact adolescent mental health.

Information for participants and parents

**Recruitment of new participants is currently paused, due to an enthusiastic response from our community. We appreciate the support we have received.

Optional extension study: Early life stress and the brain

We're working with young people to find out how the adolescent brain develops after exposure to early life stress.

LABS news

Brain changes could predict mental distress in first year of high school

By looking closely at the brain, we may be able to identify which first-year high school students are more prone to psychological distress, new research has found.

What the future of youth mental health care might look like, as brain study reaches milestone

As the Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS) turns 5, Professor Daniel Hermens from UniSC's Thompson Institute has published research suggesting the future of preventative mental health could lie in giving 12-year-olds brain scans.

‘Brain fingerprinting’ of adolescents might be able to predict mental health problems down the line

New research could predict whether young people will develop mental health issues.