Krista Anderson-Ross, ND
Dr. Anderson-Ross is a naturopathic doctor with 20 years of private practice focused on hormone balance, adrenal health, sleep, and adolescent health. Dr Krista is a frequent
presenter at professional conferences on the topics of adrenal and hormone health, sleep, melatonin, and adolescent health. Her articles on sleep and mindfulness have been published in peer reviewed journals.
Public health measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, and masking have created a prolonged environment of stress which has taken its toll on adolescent mental health and brain development. The years from 13-25 mark the last 20% of brain development, a crucial time for cortical control over the impulsive and emotionally labile lower brain. It’s also during this time that the brain is most vulnerable to stress and substances of abuse – 75% of all adult mental health disorders have their peak onset before the age of 24. Currently, adolescent depression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm and substance abuse are at an historic high.
Attendees will review adolescent brain development and how it’s impacted by stress, and explore how maladaptive coping strategies such as nicotine, alcohol and cannabis can lead to further dysregulation. Special attention will be paid to the roles of the neurotransmitters dopamine and GABA, the intersection of nutrition and mental health, and commonly-used medications known to deplete essential nutrients.
Functional testing options to assess HPA axis and neurotransmitter function will be explored, and pertinent cases presented. Evidence-based natural therapeutics shown to prevent susceptibility to and treat the effects of these influences will be discussed, including nutritional and botanical therapies, movement, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness.