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Background and aims

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has gained recognition as a potential new diagnosis in the fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but genetic evidence supporting this disorder remains scarce.

Methods

In this study, targeted exome sequencing was conducted in 30 IGD patients and 30 control subjects with a focus on genes linked to various neurotransmitters associated with substance and non-substance addictions, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Results

rs2229910 of neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor, type 3 (NTRK3) was the only single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that exhibited a significantly different minor allele frequency in IGD subjects compared to controls (p = .01932), suggesting that this SNP has a protective effect against IGD (odds ratio = 0.1541). The presence of this potentially protective allele was also associated with less time spent on Internet gaming and lower scores on the Young’s Internet Addiction Test and Korean Internet Addiction Proneness Scale for Adults.

Conclusions

The results of this first targeted exome sequencing study of IGD subjects indicate that rs2229910 of NTRK3 is a genetic variant that is significantly related to IGD. These findings may have significant implications for future research investigating the genetics of IGD and other behavioral addictions.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Mi Jung Rho
,
Jo-Eun Jeong
,
Ji-Won Chun
,
Hyun Cho
,
Dong Jin Jung
,
In Young Choi
, and
Dai-Jin Kim

Background and aims

Problematic Internet game use is an important social issue that increases social expenditures for both individuals and nations. This study identified predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use.

Methods

Data were collected from online surveys between November 26 and December 26, 2014. We identified 3,881 Internet game users from a total of 5,003 respondents. A total of 511 participants were assigned to the problematic Internet game user group according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Internet gaming disorder criteria. From the remaining 3,370 participants, we used propensity score matching to develop a normal comparison group of 511 participants. In all, 1,022 participants were analyzed using the chi-square automatic interaction detector (CHAID) algorithm.

Results

According to the CHAID algorithm, six important predictors were found: gaming costs (50%), average weekday gaming time (23%), offline Internet gaming community meeting attendance (13%), average weekend and holiday gaming time (7%), marital status (4%), and self-perceptions of addiction to Internet game use (3%). In addition, three patterns out of six classification rules were explored: cost-consuming, socializing, and solitary gamers.

Conclusion

This study provides direction for future work on the screening of problematic Internet game use in adults.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Impaired inhibitory control accompanied by enhanced craving is hallmark of addiction. This study investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on response inhibition and craving in Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We examined the brain changes after tDCS and their correlation with clinical variables.

Methods

Twenty-four males with IGD were allocated randomly to an active or sham tDCS group, and data from 22 participants were included for analysis. Participants self-administered bilateral tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for 10 sessions. Stop-signal tasks were conducted to measure response inhibition and participants were asked about their cravings for Internet gaming at baseline and post-tDCS. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected at pre- and post-tDCS, and group differences in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes from the bilateral DLPFC and nucleus accumbens were examined. We explored the relationship between changes in the rsFC and behavioral variables in the active tDCS group.

Results

A significant group-by-time interaction was observed in response inhibition. After tDCS, only the active group showed a decrease in the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT). Although craving decreased, there were no significant group-by-time interactions or group main effects. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) showed group differences in post- versus pre-tDCS rsFC from the right DLPFC. The rsFC between the ACC and left middle frontal gyrus was negatively correlated with the SSRT.

Discussion and conclusion

Our study provides preliminary evidence that bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC improves inhibitory control and could serve as a therapeutic approach for IGD.

Open access