JOURNAL ARTICLE

Reduced orbitofrontal cortical thickness in male adolescents with internet addiction

Soon-Beom Hong, Jae-Won Kim, Eun-Jung Choi, Ho-Hyun Kim, Jeong-Eun Suh, Chang-Dai Kim, Paul Klauser, Sarah Whittle, Murat YƱcel, Christos Pantelis, Soon-Hyung Yi
Behavioral and Brain Functions: BBF 2013, 9: 11
23497383

BACKGROUND: The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has consistently been implicated in the pathology of both drug and behavioral addictions. However, no study to date has examined OFC thickness in internet addiction. In the current study, we investigated the existence of differences in cortical thickness of the OFC in adolescents with internet addiction. On the basis of recently proposed theoretical models of addiction, we predicted a reduction of thickness in the OFC of internet addicted individuals.

FINDINGS: Participants were 15 male adolescents diagnosed as having internet addiction and 15 male healthy comparison subjects. Brain magnetic resonance images were acquired on a 3T MRI and group differences in cortical thickness were analyzed using FreeSurfer. Our results confirmed that male adolescents with internet addiction have significantly decreased cortical thickness in the right lateral OFC (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: This finding supports the view that the OFC alterations in adolescents with internet addiction reflect a shared neurobiological marker of addiction-related disorders in general.

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