Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on addictive behavior and brain glucose metabolism in problematic online gamers.
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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
PMID: 33361487 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
J Behav Addict. 2020 Dec 23;:
Authors: Jeong H, Oh JK, Choi EK, Im JJ, Yoon S, Knotkova H, Bikson M, Song IU, Lee SH, Chung YA