facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

"Abnormal White Matter" Found in Internet Addicts' Brains

Internet junkies' brains apparently change in a similar way to those hooked on cocaine or meth.


Do you spend too much time online?
Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

A new study claims that those suffering from internet addiction disorder (IAD) have abnormal white matter structure in the brain similar to that observed in those suffering from cocaine or crystal meth addiction. The study—led by Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, and published in the journal PLoS One—reports that the altered brain matter led those with IAD to exhibit more limited emotional processing, poor decision making and compulsive-repetitive behaviors. The researchers hope that their findings can lead to a possible treatment. “Recent studies have shown that physical or pharmacological treatments may improve white matter integrity,” they write in the report. However, the study also acknowledged limitations, including a small sample size and self-reported IAD diagnoses. Internet addiction—alongside other compulsive addictions such as gambling—is being considered for addition to the 2013 edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv