Excessive use of online games can have negative influences on mental health and daily functioning. Although the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been investigated for the treatment of addiction, it has not been evaluated for excessive online game use. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility and tolerability of tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in online gamers.
A total of 15 online gamers received 12 active tDCS sessions over the DLPFC (anodal left/cathodal right, 2 mA for 30 min, 3 times per week for 4 weeks). Before and after tDCS sessions, all participants underwent 18F-ﬂuoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans and completed the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Brief Self Control Scale (BSCS), and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II).
After tDCS sessions, weekly hours spent on games (p = .02) and scores of IAT (p < .001) and BDI-II (p = .01) were decreased, whereas BSCS score was increased (p = .01). Increases in self-control were associated with decreases in both addiction severity (p = .002) and time spent on games (p = .02). Moreover, abnormal right-greater-than-left asymmetry of regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the DLPFC was partially alleviated (p = .04).
Our preliminary results suggest that tDCS may be useful for reducing online game use by improving interhemispheric balance of glucose metabolism in the DLPFC and enhancing self-control. Larger sham-controlled studies with longer follow-up period are warranted to validate the efficacy of tDCS in gamers.
Authors:Hyeonseok Jeong, Jin Kyoung Oh, Eun Kyoung Choi, Jooyeon Jamie Im, Sujung Yoon, Helena Knotkova, Marom Bikson, In-Uk Song, Sang Hoon Lee, and Yong-An Chung
Background and aims
Some online gamers may encounter difficulties in controlling their gaming behavior. Previous studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on various kinds of addiction. This study investigated the effects of tDCS on addictive behavior and regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (rCMRglu) in problematic online gamers.
Problematic online gamers were randomized and received 12 sessions of either active (n = 13) or sham tDCS (n = 13) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex over 4 weeks (anode F3/cathode F4, 2 mA for 30 min, 3 sessions per week). Participants underwent brain 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans and completed questionnaires including the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS), and Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System scales (BIS/BAS) at the baseline and 4-week follow-up.
Significant decreases in time spent on gaming (P = 0.005), BIS (P = 0.03), BAS-fun seeking (P = 0.04), and BAS-reward responsiveness (P = 0.01), and increases in BSCS (P = 0.03) were found in the active tDCS group, while decreases in IAT were shown in both groups (P < 0.001). Group-by-time interaction effects were not significant for these measures. Increases in BSCS scores were correlated with decreases in IAT scores in the active group (β = −0.85, P < 0.001). rCMRglu in the left putamen, pallidum, and insula was increased in the active group compared to the sham group (P for interaction < 0.001).
Discussion and conclusions
tDCS may be beneficial for problematic online gaming potentially through changes in self-control, motivation, and striatal/insular metabolism. Further larger studies with longer follow-up period are warranted to confirm our findings.
Authors:Sung Jae Kim, Van Giap Nguyen, Cheong Ung Kim, Bong Kyun Park, Thi-My Le Huynh, Sook Shin, Woo Kyung Jung, Yong Ho Park, and Hee Chun Chung
Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) is one of the major pathogens causing acute enteritis, which is characterised by vomiting and watery diarrhoea and commonly leads to high rates of mortality and morbidity in suckling piglets. Chitosan has been regarded as a promising natural disinfectant. In this study, the disinfectant effect and mammalian-cell toxicity of chitosan were evaluated against PEDV using Vero cells. A 0.01% solution of chitosan was determined to be an effective disinfectant. In addition, no evidence of toxicity was observed during the cell toxicity test; on the contrary, chitosan promoted cell proliferation. In conclusion, chitosan is a promising candidate for an effective and safe disinfectant against PEDV as well as other coronaviruses.