Studies by researchers have revealed a genetic variant is linked to internet addiction. According to researchers at the University of Bonn, it’s the same genetic variation associated with a gene known as CHRNA4 hat has been linked to varied forms of addiction. Over the year’s researchers as a part of their study interviewed 843 individuals about their internet habits, out of which 132 persons were online addicts, this based on their thoughts revolving around the internet the entire day and the belief that they would be impacted if they didn’t have access to the internet. Studies conducted on the 132 individuals addicted to the internet also revealed that they are carriers of a genetic variant that is associated with nicotine addiction and has its roots in depression and loneliness.
Privatdozent Dr. Christian Montag from Department for Differential and Biological Psychology at the University of Bonn said” What we already know about the nicotine acetylcholine receptor in the brain is that a mutation on the related gene promotes addictive behavior. Nicotine from tobacco fits, just like acetylcholine which is produced by the body, like a key into receptor. Both these neurotransmitters play a significant role in activating the brain’s reward system. It seems that this connection is not only essential for nicotine addiction, but also for internet addiction”. The team of researchers at University of Bonn hope their research helps provide better therapies for internet addicts in the future. Researchers in the past have revealed that cases of internet addiction are exceedingly high among women.