Internet Addiction Disorder Changes How The Brain Develops

Mike Stenger - Author

Sep. 16 2013, Updated 6:56 a.m. ET

Internet addiction disorder or IAD for short, has been found to change how the brain develops in a new research study. When most people think about addiction, they think drugs, alcohol, and things of that nature.

However, it’s taken new forms over the years and there’s even such thing as gaming addictions where people’s lives have been totally consumed by video games. If you’re a gamer, well, you might know a few people that might have a problem.

Anyways, this research study had some interesting findings.

Via Yahoo! News:

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“Participants who were found to be “addicted” to the internet had significant differences in brain development than those who were not. These include areas of lower volume in the parts of the brain that control emotional processing, executive thinking skills and attention, and cognitive control — very similar to the brain changes in drug addicts.”

“There also appeared to be disruptions in the white matter between brain cells, affecting how neurons communicate with each other. The longer a person had suffered from IAD, the more pronounced the brain differences were.”

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Now, comparing the effects in brain development to drug addiction, is quite a bold claim. Earlier research shows that people who are addicted to the Internet can have academic, work related, and obviously mental issues.

Also, doctors are uncertain if people become addicted first and then changes to the brain follow, or if the brain develops differently and then the addiction follows. Either way, do you think Internet Addiction Disorder is a real thing or just a term that doctors made up to try and, in their words, more properly diagnose patients?


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