Electronic Screen Syndrome

Written by Daryl

Daryl’s FIT TIP of The Day: ELECTRONIC SCREEN SYNDROME
(I apologize for the length of this fit tip but it is VERY IMPORTANT information affecting KIDS today)

There is a NEW DISORDER developing and many people aren’t even aware of it. Kids are being misdiagnosed with ADHD, ADD, DEPRESSION, and ANXIETY and are being put on drugs to balance their brain activity. However, many of these issues are caused by poor brain development due to technology– Electronic Screen Syndrome.

Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet usage and gaming addiction.

The average child and teenager spend an average of 6-7 hours on a screen (laptop, iPad, cell phone etc.) each day. There has been a substantial amount of neurological research to VALIDATE that chronic use of technological devices inhibits normal brain development, especially among kids from age 3-19. The following are the issues that are becoming prevalent among this age group from too much screen time.

* GRAY MATTER ATROPHY: Areas affected included the important frontal lobe, which governs executive functions, such as planning, planning, prioritizing, organizing, and impulse control (“getting stuff done”). Volume loss was also seen in the striatum, which is involved in reward pathways and the suppression of socially unacceptable impulses. A finding of particular concern was damage to an area known is the insula, which is involved in our capacity to develop empathy and compassion for others and our ability to integrate physical signals with emotion.

COMPROMISED WHITE MATTER INTEGRITY: Connections from the right and left hemispheres misfire and become erratic. Both hemispheres are vital for the control and function of the entire body. When they misfire the function of the body becomes impaired.

REDUCED CORTICAL THICKNESS: Impairs cognitive tasks, and creates inability to maintain cognitive focus.

IMPAIRED COGNITIVE FUNCTION: Increased sensitivity to the reward center of the brain while decreasing empathy toward loss.

CRAVINGS AND IMPAIRED DOPAMINE FUNCTION: Instant gratification and chronic praise excites the nucleus accumbens within the brain releasing dopamine. Dopamine is the FEEL GOOD hormone. Over time the dopamine secretions become less and the person becomes more addicted in trying to satisfy the dopamine high. Eventually depression takes over.

POOR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS: Proper frontal lobe development helps connect people in a rational sense. Improper development results in the inability to maintain social relationships or interact with people in social settings. The child becomes socially inept and disengaged from rational relationships. Normal peer interaction becomes difficult because reasoning and rational thought patterns are dampened.

DURING THE DEVELOPMENT STAGES OF THE BRAIN FROM AGES 3-21 it is important to reduce damaging stimuli to allow for proper brain development, especially the frontal lobe.