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Monday, December 11, 2017

Brain Changes in Smartphone Addicted Teens

Smartphone addiction is on the rise – 50 percent of teens feel they are addicted, according to – and it’s taking a toll on their minds. 

A new, small study suggests that being hooked on the internet and smartphones may harm the brain chemistry of teens, according to research presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago.

Researchers found an imbalance of chemicals in the brain of "internet-addicted" teenagers, similar to whats found in people with anxiety disorder and depression. Compared with 19 teenagers who were not addicted, the brains of the addicted boys had significantly higher levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the cortex that inhibits neurons.

"GABA slows down the neurons," Caglar Yildirim, an assistant professor of human computer interaction, told "That results in poorer attention and control, which you don't want to have, because you want to stay focused. So that means you are more vulnerable to distractions."

The good news: Researchers found that several weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy works to reverse the imbalance. 

More About Smartphone Addiction
The overuse of smartphones has been linked to several health effects, including: 
  • Text neck - cramping, stabbing pain that comes after looking down at your phone too long
  • Poor posture
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Low self-esteem
What’s more, about 1.2 million car crashes in 2013 involved drivers talking on phones, according to the National Safety Council, and at least 341,000 involved text messaging.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. Once we gain a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s individual health challenges, our addiction treatment team develops a customized program. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

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