Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is increasingly recognized as a mental health disorder, particularly among adolescents. The pathogenesis associated with IAD, however, remains unclear. In this study, we aim to explore the encephalic functional characteristics of IAD adolescents at rest using functional magnetic resonance imaging data. We adopted a graph-theoretic approach to investigate possible disruptions of functional connectivity in terms of network properties including small-worldness, efficiency, and nodal centrality on 17 adolescents with IAD and 16 socio-demographically matched healthy controls. False discovery rate-corrected parametric tests were performed to evaluate the statistical significance of grouplevel network topological differences. In addition, a correlation analysis was performed to assess the relationships between functional connectivity and clinical measures in the IAD group. Our results demonstrate that there is significant disruption in the functional connectome of IAD patients, particularly between regions located in the frontal, occipital, and parietal lobes. The affected connections are long-range and inter-hemispheric connections. Although significant alterations are observed for regional nodal metrics, there is no difference in global network topology between IAD and healthy groups. In addition, correlation analysis demonstrates that the observed regional abnormalities are correlated with the IAD severity and behavioral clinical assessments. Our findings, which are relatively consistent between anatomically and functionally defined atlases, suggest that IAD causes disruptions of functional connectivity and, importantly, that such disruptions might link to behavioral impairments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)