Addicted to your phone? It could throw off your brain chemistry

(Brandon Specktor/ Live Science) – It’s hard to escape screens; there is a roughly 100 percent chance you are looking at one right now. And though the long-term effects of screen time are still being studied, the effects of excessive internet and smartphone use are well-documented. “Pathological” internet use has been linked to depression in teens, and it may even shrink gray matter.

Now, a small new study suggests that for teens, being hooked on the internet and smartphones may harm brain chemistry, as well.

The research was unveiled Nov. 30 at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago. The paper, presented by lead study author Dr. Hyung Suk Seo, a professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, found an imbalance of chemicals in the brain of “internet-addicted” teenagers. This imbalance was similar to that seen in people experiencing anxiety and depression.

But there’s also good news: The imbalance is reversible in several weeks using a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. (…)

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