A study conducted by the researchers at Korea Universty has revealed that prolonged use of mobile devices could impact the chemical balance of people’s brain. It was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
The team, led by Dr. Hyung Suk Seo, with the help of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), examined the impact of smartphone usage and changes to the brain’s chemistry on a group of 19 people diagnosed with smartphone addiction.
There were 9 males and 10 females in the group having 15.9 years as the mean age. Out of the 19 teenagers, 12 were given cognitive behavioral therapy that went for nine months.
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. The tests were performed before and after the cognitive behavioral therapy.
According to Dr. Seo, teenagers who had a higher intensity of addiction had a higher score in depression, anxiety, insomnia activity, and impulsivity. This is due to an imbalance of brain chemicals including GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) and Glx (Glutamate-glutamine). Their task is to slow down brain signals and electrically excite neurons respectively.
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The researchers found that the GABA to Glx ratio significantly decreased after the cognitive behavioral therapy. Medical treatment might be able to reduce the adverse effects of smartphone addictions. But what’s more important is we should limit our usage of smartphone and internet as the addition of them is already on the rise.
However, it can’t be denied that these things have become more of a necessity than the luxury they were a decade ago. Earlier, this year, a therapist concluded that smartphone addiction is equal to drug addiction. The situation gets worse when we have companies which try make habit-forming products.
What are your views on smartphone addiction? Drop your thoughts in the comments.