A new report claims that smartphones and the Internet may be harming brain chemistry in teens, although more research is needed.
Our addiction to our smartphone is just about undeniable at this point, as if you look at anyone standing in line at Starbucks or sitting on a bus, they’re likely staring at a screen. Actually, you’re looking at one right now. But a worrying new study suggests that for teens, being obsessed with the internet and smart phones can cause problems with brain chemistry.
The findings were presented recently at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting, which took place in Chicago. Scientists found that there was an imbalance of chemicals in teenagers’ brains who were addicted to the Internet which were similar in those who struggled with anxiety and depression.
Fortunately, scientists also determined that the imbalance was totally reversible in just a few weeks using cognitive behavioral therapy. The findings were based on the results of examining the brains of 19 addicted teenagers and 19 non-addicted teenagers using a form of MRI that can monitor chemical composition in the brain.
“Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA),” reads the statement from the Radiological Society of North America. “According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call.”