Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Internet gaming addiction (IGA) has been classified as an addictive disorder in the proposed DSM 5 draft. However, whether its underlying addiction mechanism is similar to other substance use disorders has not been confirmed. The present functional magnetic resonance images study is aimed at evaluating the brain correlates of cue-induced gaming urge or smoking craving in subjects with both IGA and nicotine dependence to make a simultaneous comparison of cue induced brain reactivity for gaming and smoking. For this purpose, 16 subjects with both IGA and nicotine dependence (comorbid group) and 16 controls were recruited from the community. All subjects were made to undergo 3-T fMRIs scans while viewing images associated with online games, smoking, and neutral images, which were arranged according to an event-related design. The resultant image data was analyzed with full factorial and conjunction analysis of SPM5. The results demonstrate that anterior cingulate, and parahippocampus activates higher for both cue-induced gaming urge and smoking craving among the comorbid group in comparison to the control group. The conjunction analysis demonstrates that bilateral parahippocampal gyrus activates to a greater degree for both gaming urge and smoking craving among the comorbid group in comparison to the control group. Accordingly, the study demonstrates that both IGA and nicotine dependence share similar mechanisms of cue-induced reactivity over the fronto-limbic network, particularly for the parahippocampus. The results support that the context representation provided by the parahippocampus is a key mechanism for not only cue-induced smoking craving, but also for cue-induced gaming urge.
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