The Alarming Impact of Excessive Internet Use on Adolescent Brains

In today’s digital world, teenagers spend countless hours glued to their smartphones, engaging in various online activities from social media to gaming and virtual classes. However, a recent study published in the journal PLOS Mental Health raises concerns about the impact of excessive internet use on adolescent brain development and mental health.

The study, conducted by researchers at University College London, analyzed neuroimaging data from 237 adolescents aged 10 to 19 who were diagnosed with internet addiction. They found that excessive internet use led to significant disruptions in the brain regions responsible for active thinking, including attention, planning, decision-making, and impulse control.

According to Dr. Praveen Gupta, principal director of neurology at Fortis Gurugram, internet addiction alters the functional and effective connectivity between neurons, leading to overactivity in some synaptic connections and underactivity in others. This disruption affects networks involved in attention, memory, and behavior.

The study also suggests that these alterations could make it more difficult for adolescents to perform tasks that require executive function, potentially affecting their development and overall well-being. Similar to substance use disorders, internet addiction rewires the brain, making it harder to resist internet-related stimuli, as explained by Dr. Max Chang, one of the study’s authors.

Dr. Dinika Anand, a clinical psychologist at BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, emphasizes that excessive internet use can lead to an imbalance in the brain’s functioning, as certain pathways receive excessive stimulation while others are neglected. This continuous stimulation can weaken the neglected pathways, impacting cognitive abilities and overall well-being.

The findings of this study highlight the urgent need for increased awareness about the potential risks of internet addiction among teenagers. As the digital age continues to evolve, it is essential for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to work together to monitor and address excessive internet use in young people to ensure their healthy development and protect their mental well-being.

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In today’s digital world, teenagers spend countless hours glued to their smartphones, engaging in various online activities from social media to gaming and virtual classes. However, a recent study published in the journal PLOS Mental Health raises concerns about the impact of excessive internet use on adolescent brain development and mental health.

The study, conducted by researchers at University College London, analyzed neuroimaging data from 237 adolescents aged 10 to 19 who were diagnosed with internet addiction. They found that excessive internet use led to significant disruptions in the brain regions responsible for active thinking, including attention, planning, decision-making, and impulse control.

According to Dr. Praveen Gupta, principal director of neurology at Fortis Gurugram, internet addiction alters the functional and effective connectivity between neurons, leading to overactivity in some synaptic connections and underactivity in others. This disruption affects networks involved in attention, memory, and behavior.

The study also suggests that these alterations could make it more difficult for adolescents to perform tasks that require executive function, potentially affecting their development and overall well-being. Similar to substance use disorders, internet addiction rewires the brain, making it harder to resist internet-related stimuli, as explained by Dr. Max Chang, one of the study’s authors.

Dr. Dinika Anand, a clinical psychologist at BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, emphasizes that excessive internet use can lead to an imbalance in the brain’s functioning, as certain pathways receive excessive stimulation while others are neglected. This continuous stimulation can weaken the neglected pathways, impacting cognitive abilities and overall well-being.

The findings of this study highlight the urgent need for increased awareness about the potential risks of internet addiction among teenagers. As the digital age continues to evolve, it is essential for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to work together to monitor and address excessive internet use in young people to ensure their healthy development and protect their mental well-being.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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