Intervention on network craving and encephalofluctuogram in patients with internet addiction disorder: a randomized controlled trial (2011)

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011 May;31(5):395-9.

[Article in Chinese]

Zhu TM1, Li H, Du YP, Zheng Z, Jin RJ.



To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) combined with psychological interference on abstinence symptom such as network craving and anxiety in internet addiction disorder (IAD) and explore its mechanism.


One hundred and twenty cases of IAD were randomly divided into EA group, psychotherapy group and EA plus psychotherapy group (combined therapy group). In EA group, Baihui (GV 20), Sishencong (EX-HN 1), Hegu (LI 4), Neiguan (PC 6), Taichong (LR 3) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) were selected in EA, once every 2 days, for 20 sessions totally. In psychotherapy group, the cognition and behavior therapy was applied, once every 4 days, for 10 sessions totally. In combined therapy group, EA combined with psychological interference was administered. The changes in IAD self-scale table, network craving scale, ZUNG self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and S spectrum of encephalofluctuogram (ET) were observed before and after treatment.


After treatment, the results of IAD self-scale table, network craving scale and ZUNG SAS in combined therapy group were reduced significantly as compared with those before treatment (all P < 0.01) and the score of IAD self-scale table was lower significantly as compared with EA group and psychotherapy group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05), and the score of network craving scale was lower than that in psychotherapy group (P < 0.01). S11 spectrum in combined therapy group decreased significantly as compared with that before treatment (P < 0.05) and was lower significantly as compared with psychotherapy group and EA group (both P < 0.05).


Electroacupuncture combined with psychological interference can reduce network craving and anxiety of IAD patients and its mechanism is probably related with the decrease of dopamine content in central system.