Brain Activity in Sex Addicts has Similarities with People Addicted to Drugs: Study

Brain Activity in Sex Addicts has Similarities with People Addicted to Drugs: Study

After carrying out research on brain activity in sex addicts, researchers from University of Cambridge have found some similarities with drug addicts.

For the research, scientists performed brain scans on 19 men who were suffering from compulsive sexual behavior watching pornographic videos and 19 controls. Clear differences were seen in brain activities of patients affected with compulsive sexual behavior and healthy volunteers.

Researchers noticed same reward centers of the brain were activated as when addicts see their favourite drug. The team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to know the changes taking place in brain activities caused by watching pornographic videos.

The three parts of brain, the ventral striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate and the amygdala, showed higher levels of activity. These were the areas that showed higher levels of activity among addicts when they see their drug of choice.

Dr. Valerie Voon from the University of Cambridge was of the view, "This is the first study to look at people suffering from these disorders and look at their brain activity, but I don't think we understand enough right now to say it is clearly an addiction".

Dr. Voon stated that for now, they are not sure that if there is greater activity in these three areas then there are increased chances to develop addictive behaviours or is the effect of pornography.

There is not sufficient evidence to advice on the impact on teenagers watching porn on the internet. Paula Hall, the chair of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity finds pornography to be not good for anyone. According to her, it can destroy a couple's relationship. Porn can act as a gateway drug to sex workers.

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