(REMISSION) Effects of electroacupuncture combined psycho-intervention on cognitive function and event related potentials P300 and mismatch negativity in patients with internet addiction (2012)

COMMENTS: Study compared 3 treatment protocols for subjects with Internet addiction. Interesting findings:

  1. After 40 days of treatment all significantly improved in cognitive function.
  2. Internet addiction scores were significantly lowered in all groups, no matter the treatment. 

This proves that poorer cognitive function was not a pre-existing condition, and improved with abstinence.

Chin J Integr Med. 2012 Feb;18(2):146-51. Epub 2012 Feb 5.

Zhu TM, Li H, Jin RJ, Zheng Z, Luo Y, Ye H, Zhu HM.


College of Acupuncture and Massage, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, 610075, China.



To observe the effects of comprehensive therapy (CT) with electroacupuncture (EA) in combination with psycho-intervention (PI) on the cognitive function and event-related potentials (ERP), P300 and mismatch negativity (MMN), in patients with internet addiction (IA) for a preliminary exploration of the possible mechanism of the therapy.


One hundred and twenty patients with IA were randomly divided into three groups, and a total of 112 subjects reached the final analysis of the trial, the EA group (39 patients), the PI group (36 patients) and the CT group (37 patients). EA was applied at acupoints Baihui (GV20), Sishencong (EX-HN1), Hegu (LI4), Neiguan (PC6), Taichong (LR3) and Sanyinjiao (SP6), once every other day; PI with the cognition behavior mode was implemented every 4 days; both EA and PI were used in the CT group. The treatment course for all patients was 40 days. Changes before and after treatment in terms of scoring by the IA self-rating scale, short-term memory capacity, short-term memory span, and the latency and amplitude of P300 and MMN in patients were observed.


After treatment, in all groups, the IA score was lowered significantly (P <0.05) and scores of short-term memory capacity and short-term memory span increased significantly (P <0.05), while the decreased IA score in the CT group was more significant than that in the other two groups (P <0.05). ERP measurements showed that P300 latency was depressed and its amplitude raised in the EA group; MMN amplitude increased in the CT group (all P<0.05).


The EA in combination with PI could improve the cognitive function of IA patients, and its mechanism might be related to the speedup of cerebral discrimination on external stimulus and the enhancement of effective resource mobilization during information processing of the brain.