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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Aug 30;254:10-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Neurochemical correlates of internet game play in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) study.

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Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation, Chung Ang University, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Chung Ang University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. Electronic address:
Department of Psychiatry, Chung Ang University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


Previous studies have examined the relationship of brain metabolic changes in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and internet gaming disorder (IGD). However, these studies have been limited by a small number of subjects, a large variance in subject age, and different brain regions of interest. The present study assessed the effects of chronic internet game play in ADHD children. Twenty eight ADHD adolescents with IGD (IGD+ADHD), 27 ADHD adolescents without problematic internet game playing (ADHD only) and 42 healthy comparison adolescents (HC) were included in the study. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was performed on a 3T MRI scanner. Our results indicate that the levels of NAA in both ADHD groups were lower than those observed in the HC group. The levels of Glu+Gln in the ADHD only group were increased, compared to those observed in the control group. However, Glu+Gln was not increased in the IGD+ADHD group. In addition, the levels of Glu+Gln in the IGD+ADHD group were positively correlated with K-ARS total and inattention scores. ADHD and IGD subjects were both characterized by decreased NAA levels within the frontal lobe, consistent with hypofrontality.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Glutamate+glutamine; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; N-acetylaspartate

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