Addicted to Your Phone? You Might Have a Chemical Imbalance

Are you on your smartphone right now? You might want to think about taking a break from it. A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) finds smartphone addiction can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain of young people.

According to a news release, researchers used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure the chemical composition of the brains of 19 smartphone and internet addicted teenagers. When compared with the non-addicts, the teens attached to their phones had higher ratios of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that inhibits or slows down brain signals, and glutamate-glutamine (Glx), a neurotransmitter that causes neurons to become more electrically excited.

There is some good news...the phone addicted youth’s GABA and Glx ratios significantly decreased or normalized after cognitive behavioral therapy.