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BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Dec 20;18(1):396. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1974-6.

Genetic association of human Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor 1 (CRHR1) with Internet gaming addiction in Korean male adolescents.

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College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physiology, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea.
School of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York City, USA.
College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.



The number of people with Internet gaming addiction (IGA) is increasing around the world. IGA is known to be associated with personal characteristics, psychosocial factors, and physiological factors. However, few studies have examined the genetic factors related to IGA. This study aimed to investigate the association between IGA and stress-related genetic variants.


This cross-sectional study was conducted with 230 male high school students in a South Korean city. We selected five stress-related candidate genes: DAT1, DRD4, NET8, CHRNA4, and CRHR1. The DAT1 and DRD4 genes were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction, and the NET8, CHRNA4, and CRHR1 genes were genotyped by pyrosequencing analysis. We performed a Chi-square test to examine the relationship of these five candidate genes to IGA.


Having the AA genotype and the A allele of the CRHR1 gene (rs28364027) was associated with higher odds of belonging to the IGA participant group (pā€‰=ā€‰.016 and pā€‰=ā€‰.021, respectively) than to the non-IGA group. By contrast, the DAT1, DRD4, NET8, and CHRNA4 gene polymorphisms showed no significant difference between the IGA group and control group.


These results indicate that polymorphism of the CRHR1 gene may play an important role in IGA susceptibility in the Korean adolescent male population. These findings provide a justification and foundation for further investigation of genetic factors related to IGA.


CRHR1; Gene polymorphism; Internet gaming addiction

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