Tags: internet | addiction | gene

Is Internet Addiction Genetic?

Thursday, 06 September 2012 03:11 PM

German scientists have identified the first evidence that Internet addiction may be genetic.
In a new study out of the University of Bonn, researchers found dozens of individuals with the hallmark signs of Internet addiction carry a gene variation that is prevalent in nicotine addiction.
The findings, published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, show "that Internet addiction is not a figment of our imagination," said lead researcher Christian Montag, a Bonn psychology expert, in a university news release.
While more research is needed to explore the link between the gene mutation and online addiction, Montag said his research "shows that there are clear indications for genetic causes of Internet addiction," and that learning more about how genes influence compulsive Internet use could lead to better treatments.
For the study, researchers tracked study participants Internet use and performed DNA genetic testing, and compared them to a similar group of people who didn’t fit the criteria for online addiction.
They found the Net addicts were far more likely to have genetic variations that affect acetylcholine, a substance produced by the body linked to the brain’s “reward systems” that is believed to be involved in nicotine addiction in smokers.
“Combined with the findings from other studies,” the researchers concluded, “the present data point in the direction that [the gene variation] effects on a vast range of behaviors, including cognition, emotion, and addiction.”

© HealthDay

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German scientists have identified the first evidence that Internet addiction may be genetic.
Thursday, 06 September 2012 03:11 PM
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