Did you know smartphone addiction is affecting your teen's brain?

Did you know smartphone addiction is affecting your teen's brain?

Did you know smartphone addiction is affecting your teen's brain?

The South Korean researchers were scheduled to present their findings Thursday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, in Chicago.

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.

The scientists say further research is needed to understand the clinical implications of their findings but add that high levels of Gaba in the brain could be related to "functional loss" in certain areas of the brain.

Another recent study found that how children use the devices, not how much time they spend on them, is the strongest predictor of emotional or social problems connected with screen addiction.

Researchers looked at the brains of 19 teenage boys that were addicted to their smartphones in comparison to the brain images of 19 teenage boys that weren't addicted to their smartphones.

Researchers from mobile connectivity firm iPass surveyed 1,700 people in the US and Europe about their connectivity habits preferences and expectations. The survey found 83.5 per cent check their phones in bed and 6.5 per cent during sex. Shown here

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 effects were negated using a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy for several weeks.

Currently, 46 percent of Americans report "not being able to live without their smartphones".

The relatively small sample group (38) used for the study comprised youngsters, half of whom had been diagnosed with smartphone addiction, and the other half being healthy age- and gender-matched controls for the experiment. And the researchers have claimed that higher the addiction, higher were the symptoms of diseases like insomnia, depression and anxiety. These increased ratios of Glx and GABA were significantly correlated with the clinical scales of smartphone and internet addictions, depression and anxiety. GABA is involved in vision and motor control and the regulation of various brain functions, including anxiety.

Dr Seo said: "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".

However, the study found that GABA to Glx ratios in them significantly decreased or normalized after cognitive behavioral therapy, said the study on a positive note. Having too much GABA can result in a number of side effects, including drowsiness and anxiety.

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