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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 854524, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/854524
Research Article

Reduced Striatal Dopamine Transporters in People with Internet Addiction Disorder

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
2Zhejiang University Medical PET Center, Hangzhou 310009, China
3Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, China
4Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Imaging of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310009, China
5Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen 310009, China

Received 5 January 2012; Accepted 31 January 2012

Academic Editor: Mei Tian

Copyright © 2012 Haifeng Hou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In recent years, internet addiction disorder (IAD) has become more prevalent worldwide and the recognition of its devastating impact on the users and society has rapidly increased. However, the neurobiological mechanism of IAD has not bee fully expressed. The present study was designed to determine if the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) levels measured by 9 9 m T c -TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain scans were altered in individuals with IAD. SPECT brain scans were acquired on 5 male IAD subjects and 9 healthy age-matched controls. The volume (V) and weight (W) of bilateral corpus striatum as well as the 9 9 m T c -TRODAT-1 uptake ratio of corpus striatum/the whole brain (Ra) were calculated using mathematical models. It was displayed that DAT expression level of striatum was significantly decreased and the V, W, and Ra were greatly reduced in the individuals with IAD compared to controls. Taken together, these results suggest that IAD may cause serious damages to the brain and the neuroimaging findings further illustrate IAD is associated with dysfunctions in the dopaminergic brain systems. Our findings also support the claim that IAD may share similar neurobiological abnormalities with other addictive disorders.