Neuropsychiatric factor and polymorphism gene in internet addiction
Internet addiction (IA) has been described as ‘excessive or poorly controlled preoccupation, urges, or behaviors regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress. Excessive internet user has emerged as a leading cause of behavioral and developmental problems in adolescents. There are several factors that influence the occurrence of internet addiction. The risk factors can be categorized by a social factor, psychiatric factor and biological factor. Some studies have found varied results. Molecular and functional imaging techniques have been increasingly used for the analysis of neurobiological changes and neurochemical correlates of IA. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) studies demonstrate that structural changes in the frontal cortex are associated with functional abnormalities in Internet-addicted subjects. Recent research has implicated the role of the striatal dopaminergic system in the behavioral maladaptation associated with IA. It provided evidence for a molecular genetic link between serotonergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission and Internet addiction like dopamine polymorphism the DRD2/ANKKI Taq Ia and COMT Val158metpolymorphism and the gene coding for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha 4 (CHRNA4). As both the genetic and personality traits are known to play a role in other addiction it is likely that same mechanism (biopsychosocial) underlie Internet addiction.
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