Why Drinking More Than Once a Week Might Mean You're More Prone to Internet Addiction

Why Drinking More Than Once a Week Might Mean You’re More Prone to Internet Addiction

Drinking more than once a week could mean you’re at higher risk of internet or gaming addiction, according to a new study.

Studies have previously found links between some genes and specific forms of addiction, but the Hungarian scientists have now found genes with links to multiple forms of addictive behavior.

DNA analysis of more than 3,000 people and behavioral questionnaires revealed nine associations between genetic variants and certain addictions.

One particular gene, known as FOXN3, was found to be linked to an increased likelihood of heavy drinking, as well as being more prone to internet addiction and gaming disorder.

People who have the “A” form of this gene were found to be 34 percent more likely to consume alcohol at least six times a month.

The gene was also commonly found in people at increased risk of Internet and gaming addiction.

The “A” form of the FOXN3 gene led to higher scores on questionnaires for problematic online gaming and also problematic Internet use.

“It has previously been shown that there is a strong genetic influence in the case of different addictions,” said study author Dr. Csaba Barta, from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary.

“The heritability, which is the measure of the genetic contribution to a trait, is estimated to be between 50 and 70 percent for addictions, with the rest being environmental effects.

“However, the specific genetic variants and their neurobiological roles in addiction are not as well understood.”

The other form of the FOXN3 gene that people can have is a “G” form, which is not linked to internet or gaming disorders, but was instead found to be associated with exercise addiction.

The study could help to understand the overlap of addictive behaviors

“These findings may contribute to scientific knowledge about addictions that affect millions of people around the world,” said Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics, professor of psychology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

“A novelty of the study is that it explores in detail the relationships between substance use and non-substance addictive behaviors.

“It could bring us closer to understanding the overlap between vulnerability to different types of potentially addictive behaviors.”

A 2020 study found a link between alcohol use and problematic internet use, and this study may have revealed the causal mechanism.

Professor Marc Potenza, director of the Center for Excellence in Gaming Research at Yale University School of Medicine and co-author of the new study, said: “The study supports that some genetic factors may be responsible for the overlap we observed previously.

“Additional studies using larger samples and other analytical approaches (eg, genome-wide association studies) are needed to further corroborate these findings.”

The study is published in the journal Personalized Medicine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *