Smartphone addiction can harm the mind, study says - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Smartphone addiction can harm the mind, study says

Researchers in South Korea looked at brain images from 19 teenage boys who had been diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction, comparing them with brain images from 19 teens who were not addicted. (Source: CNN) Researchers in South Korea looked at brain images from 19 teenage boys who had been diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction, comparing them with brain images from 19 teens who were not addicted. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - A new study adds to a growing body of evidence that indicates cell phone addiction is a real thing - and it could affect the way your brain works.

Researchers in South Korea looked at brain images from 19 teenage boys who had been diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction, comparing them with brain images from 19 teens who were not addicted.

They found that the brains of addicted boys had significantly higher levels of a neurotransmitter called "GABA," which slows down neurons in the brain. This can result in a diminished capacity to focus.

But 12 of the addicted teens received cognitive behavioral therapy, and after nine weeks their GABA levels had normalized.

The study has not been peer-reviewed, but the findings do align with others that indicate smartphone and internet addiction can be detrimental.

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