Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in on-line game addiction (2014)

J Psychiatr Res. 2014 Jul 16. pii: S0022-3956(14)00204-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.07.007.

Han DH1, Lee YS1, Shi X2, Renshaw PF3.


Recent brain imaging studies suggested that both the frontal and temporal cortices are important candidate areas for mediating the symptoms of internet addiction. We hypothesized that deficits of prefrontal and temporal cortical function in patients with on-line game addiction (PGA) would be reflected in decreased levels of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and cytosolic, choline containing compound (Cho). Seventy three young PGA and 38 age and sex matched healthy control subjects were recruited in the study. Structural MR and 1H MRS data were acquired using a 3.0 T MRI scanner. Voxels were sequentially placed in right frontal cortex and right medial temporal cortices. In the right frontal cortex, the levels of NAA in PGA were lower than those in healthy controls. In the medial temporal cortex, the levels of Cho in PGA participants were lower than those observed in healthy controls. The Young Internet Addiction Scale (YIAS) scores and perseverative responses in PGA were negatively correlated with the level of NAA in right frontal cortex. The Beck Depressive Inventory (BDI) scores in the PGA cohort were negatively correlated with Cho levels in the right temporal lobe. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first MRS study of individuals with on-line game addiction. Although, the subjects with on-line game addiction in the current study were free from psychiatric co-morbidity, patients with on-line game addiction appear to share characteristics with ADHD and MDD in terms of neurochemical changes in frontal and temporal cortices.


Choline containing compound; Frontal cortex; Medial temporal cortex; N-acetyl aspartate