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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Leveraging Neuroscience to Inform Adolescent Health: The Need for an Innovative Transdisciplinary Developmental Science of Adolescence.

  • Author(s): Suleiman, Ahna Ballonoff
  • Dahl, Ronald E
  • et al.

In this article, we consider how to leverage some of the rapid advances in developmental neuroscience in ways that can improve adolescent health. We provide a brief overview of several key areas of scientific progress relevant to these issues. We then focus on two examples of important health problems that increase sharply during adolescence: sleep problems and affective disorders. These examples illustrate how an integrative, developmental science approach provides new insights into treatment and intervention. They also highlight a cornerstone principle: how a deeper understanding of potentially modifiable factors-at key developmental inflection points along the trajectory toward clinical disorders-is beginning to inform, and may eventually transform, a broad range of innovative early intervention strategies to improve adolescent health.

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