If you spend too much time on laptop or mobile then be careful… memory may decrease, mood may become irritable

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi : Excessive use of the Internet can change the wiring of the brain. This increases the likelihood of addiction in adolescents. This has been revealed in a recent study published in the journal PLOS Mental Health. The study sheds light on the effect of Internet addiction on the brain of adolescents. It shows that Internet addiction is associated with disrupted signaling in areas involved in several neuron networks of the brain. These neuron networks play an important role in various aspects of cognitive functioning and behavioral regulation. Scientists reviewed neuroimaging studies of the effect of Internet addiction on the brain of young people.

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It is important to monitor internet usage

According to doctors, the findings highlight the need to raise awareness about the potential risks of internet addiction in adolescents. As the digital age evolves, it is important for parents, teachers and healthcare professionals to keep an eye on and address the issue of excessive internet use in young people. Dr Praveen Gupta, principal director of neurology at Fortis Gurgaon, said internet addiction leads to changes in the functional and effective connectivity between neurons. It causes hyperactivity in some synaptic connections and underactivity in others. It particularly affects the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus. This disruption thus affects networks associated with attention, memory and behaviour.
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Effects on the part of the brain

Explaining the role of networks, Dr Achal Bhagat, senior consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said that the brain consists of several neural networks. Each of these consists of functionally connected areas that constantly share information. These networks play a vital role in controlling attention, intellectual ability, working memory, physical coordination and emotional processing. According to Dr Dinika Anand, clinical psychologist at BLK-Max Super Specialty Hospital, if a person gets addicted to online (content), certain pathways of his brain will get full energy and will always be in use. In such a situation, this use will definitely harm some other pathways.

Breaking online patterns is key

According to Dr Vipul Rastogi, Senior Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Medanta Hospital, it is very important to stop the increasing pattern of online pleasure to overcome internet addiction. He said that physical activity and exercise have the power to prevent addiction and restore dopamine balance. Creating a different daily routine can be beneficial. Dr Rastogi stressed that the combined effort of the entire family is also highly effective. By working together and supporting each other, people can successfully break the cycle of excessive internet use.

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Digital detox is a must

Dr Utkarsh Bhagat, Senior Consultant, Neuroscience, Narayana Hospital, said it is important to adopt an approach to modify online behaviour patterns. He said engaging in a 'digital detox' from time to time can serve as an effective strategy to revive and refresh a person's mental health. By temporarily disconnecting from the constant stimuli and distractions of the digital world, people can create space for introspection, relaxation and reconnecting with the physical environment and social interactions.

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