Professore Emerito, Dipartimento di Scienze della Riproduzione e dello Sviluppo, Università di Trieste
Indirizzo per corrispondenza: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key words: Adolescence, Development, Brain anatomy, Hormones
As for the brain development adolescence is not a final phase. The brain anatomo-functional development significantly continues from the end of adolescence to 22-23 years of age. It encompasses the main brain organic and functional modifications from birth to 22 years: the weight increase, almost completed at 5-6 years, the cognitive development, almost completed at 12-13 years; the development of synaptogenesis and pruning, with a total final balance of global halving; the functional modifications of the white matter, different in males and females, the modifications of the relation between white and grey matters, continually increasing, still lively after adolescence but at this age limited to two structures essential for the quality of the mind: the striatum and the prefrontal dorsal-lateral area; the increase in the dopaminergic activity during adolescence, often accompanied by a low serotoninic activity, associated with adolescence depression; the role played during adolescence and later by hormones, cortisol, testosteron, estrogen, prolactin and ossitocine; finally, the main anatomic differences between female and male brains.
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