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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:854524. doi: 10.1155/2012/854524. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Reduced striatal dopamine transporters in people with internet addiction disorder.

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1
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China.

Abstract

In recent years, internet addiction disorder (IAD) has become more prevalent worldwide and the recognition of its devastating impact on the users and society has rapidly increased. However, the neurobiological mechanism of IAD has not bee fully expressed. The present study was designed to determine if the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) levels measured by (99m)Tc-TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain scans were altered in individuals with IAD. SPECT brain scans were acquired on 5 male IAD subjects and 9 healthy age-matched controls. The volume (V) and weight (W) of bilateral corpus striatum as well as the (99m)Tc-TRODAT-1 uptake ratio of corpus striatum/the whole brain (Ra) were calculated using mathematical models. It was displayed that DAT expression level of striatum was significantly decreased and the V, W, and Ra were greatly reduced in the individuals with IAD compared to controls. Taken together, these results suggest that IAD may cause serious damages to the brain and the neuroimaging findings further illustrate IAD is associated with dysfunctions in the dopaminergic brain systems. Our findings also support the claim that IAD may share similar neurobiological abnormalities with other addictive disorders.

PMID:
22505818
PMCID:
PMC3312312
DOI:
10.1155/2012/854524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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