A small, preliminary study by University of Florida researchers reported that an increase in social media use among teens during the COVID-19 pandemic may be linked to an increase in tic severity and frequency.
The study, highlighted today by the American Academy of Neurology, surveyed 20 participants ages 11-21 who were experiencing tics. Key findings from the survey, included:
- 90% reported using social media more frequently during the pandemic
- 50% reported that social media negatively impacted their tics
- 85% reported that their tic frequencies worsened during the pandemic
The study was led by Jessica Frey, M.D., a movement disorders fellow, and Irene Malaty, M.D., a professor of neurology.
“Our results have begun to shed light on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and increased social media use may be having on teens and young adults with tic disorders,” Frey said.