Gray matter and white matter abnormalities in online game addiction (2013)

Eur J Radiol. 2013 Mar 4. pii: S0720-048X(13)00073-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.031.

Weng CB, Qian RB, Fu XM, Lin B, Han XP, Niu CS, Wang YH.


Department of Neurosurgery, Anhui Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Anhui Medical University, 17 Lujiang Road, Hefei, Ahui Province 230001, China; School of Neurosurgery, Anhui Medical University, 81 Meishang Road, Hefei, Anhui Province 230032, China. Electronic address: [email protected].


Online game addiction (OGA) has attracted greater attention as a serious public mental health issue. However, there are only a few brain magnetic resonance imaging studies on brain structure about OGA. In the current study, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to investigate the microstructural changes in OGA and assessed the relationship between these morphology changes and the Young’s Internet Addiction Scale (YIAS) scores within the OGA group. Compared with healthy subjects, OGA individuals showed significant gray matter atrophy in the right orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral insula, and right supplementary motor area. According to TBSS analysis, OGA subjects had significantly reduced FA in the right genu of corpus callosum, bilateral frontal lobe white matter, and right external capsule. Gray matter volumes (GMV) of the right orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral insula and FA values of the right external capsule were significantly positively correlated with the YIAS scores in the OGA subjects. Our findings suggested that microstructure abnormalities of gray and white matter were present in OGA subjects. This finding may provide more insights into the understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms of OGA.

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