A new research study from China learned that internet addiction causes brain changes similar to those in people addicted to drugs and alcohol.
“Overall, our findings indicate that IAD (internet addiction disorder) has abnormal white matter integrity in brain regions involving emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision-making and cognitive control,” said head researcher Dr. Hao Lei.
Internet addiction is no laughing matter. About 5 to 10 percent of people are believed to be addicted to the Internet – most are gamers who play for hours without stopping for food or something to drink and neglect everything else in their lives.
“The majority of people we see with serious internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations,” said Dr. Henrietta Bowden Jones, a psychiatrist who runs the UK’s only taxpayer-funded clinic for people struggling with gambling and internet addiction.