Smartphone addiction linked to chemical imbalance in young brains

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This indicates that these chemicals are strongly associated with addiction to the device. "The authors are showing an effect in part of the circuitry of the brain that's involved in addiction". The study was led by Hyung Suk Seo, a professor of neuroradiology and the data was gathered by scanning the brains of teens who were diagnosed to have the affliction via magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

What's more, the chemical imbalance in the brain that the researchers observed has also been linked to the inability of patients to process experiences as they happen.

Researchers used standardised internet and smartphone addiction tests to measure the severity of internet addiction.

"The good news is that the chemical imbalance in addicted people significantly decreased or normalised after cognitive behavioral therapy".

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Dr. Seo said the ratios of GABA to creatine and GABA to glutamate were significantly correlated to clinical scales of internet and smartphone addictions, depression and anxiety.

Through standardized tests, multiple questions were put in front of the people to analyze how smartphone and internet affect their daily routine, sleeping patterns, social life, etc.

They included gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which slows down brain signals and is involved in vision and motor control and helps regulate emotions including anxiety.

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

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Teen using a smartphone.

He admits that might be a tough sell, but noted that parents can link reduced smartphone use to rewards such as a sought-after toy or game or more internet access on the weekends. These subjects were given MRS examinations both before and after their behavioral therapy, while the control patients were examined once to establish a baseline.

A new study presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) identified an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people who are addicted to smartphones and the internet.

"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", said Dr. Seo in a press release.

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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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