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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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China Cracks Down on Dubious Internet Addiction Therapy
15 July 2009 5:16 am
BEIJING—The Chinese government has banned the controversial application of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for so-called Internet addiction.
Although there is no meeting of the minds on whether Internet addiction is a genuine disorder, Chinese researchers have sought to put diagnosis and treatment on a more solid footing. Casting a shadow over legitimate clinical practice and research, a clinic in Shandong Province in eastern China had gained notoriety for applying electric shocks to unanesthetized teenagers whose parents had admitted them to the clinic against their will.
In an 8 July policy letter to Shandong’s health department, China’s health ministry ordered Shandong Province to cease such a clinical application of ECT. The ministry explained that it had convened an expert board, which concluded that ECT “does not show any clear safety and validity to treat Internet addiction” because of a “lack of scientific support from clinical studies and evidence-based trials.”
The health ministry did not rule out future use of ECT for Internet addiction and left the door open to clinical trials on “associated therapies” as long as such trials are free of charge for subjects and obtain informed consent.