Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Smartphone addiction can lead to chemical imbalance in brain

Addiction to smartphones in teenagers can lead to an imbalance in brain chemistry that triggers depression and anxiety Scientists Find That Smartphone Addiction Alters Your Brain Chemistry
Ben Pena | 02 December, 2017, 07:36

The study has not been peer-reviewed, but the findings do align with other studies that indicate smartphone and internet addiction can harm the mind.

A small new study adds to a growing body of evidence that indicates cell phone addiction is a real thing, and it could affect the way your brain works. "The authors are showing an effect in part of the circuitry of the brain that's involved in addiction".

To achieve a unique insight into the brains of teenagers who are addicted to smartphones and the Internet, a team of researchers from the Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, led by Hyung Suk Seo, M.D., used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)-a type of MRI that measures the chemical composition of the brain.

MRS scans are used to track concentrations of biochemicals in the brain, and are often used to study changes wrought by brain tumors, strokes, mood disorders and Alzheimer's disease. The imbalance ratio was seen to be significantly correlated to addictions, anxiety, and depression. Standardized addiction tests were administered with questions focusing on how the technology affected their daily life, social life, sleeping patterns and feelings.

The MRS procedure was meant to measure the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits or slows down brain signals, and glutamate-glutamine (Glx), which causes neurons to be more electrically excited.

Contrasted and the control gathering, the youngsters with web and smartphone fixation demonstrated a reasonable excess of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric corrosive (GABA) in one area of the limbic framework, the brain's passionate control focus.

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Results of the study show that just like any other addictions such as gaming addictions, internet and smartphone addictions may have serious implications.

"It's just an extension of the same idea", Kothare said.

Teen using a smartphone. The tests were performed before and after the cognitive behavioral therapy.

Smartphone and internet addiction can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain, especially in young people, according to new research released this week at the Radiological Society of North America.

"The increased GABA levels and disrupted balance between GABA and glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex may contribute to our understanding the pathophysiology of and treatment for addictions", Dr. Seo said.

News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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