June 10, 2006

"Cannabis use not harmful to brain of adolescents"

May 15
"Cannabis use not harmful to the brain of adolescents", Magnetic Resonance Imaging study finds

"Another marijuana myth has been busted," said NORML NZ president Chris Fowlie

Researchers of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and the New York University School of Medicine scanned the brains of 10 individuals who were frequent cannabis users in adolescence and 10 control subjects with advanced
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methods. They found no "evidence of cerebral atrophy or loss of white matter integrity" and concluded that "frequent cannabis use is unlikely to be neurotoxic to the normal developing brain."

The former cannabis users were now aged 18 to 27 years and had used cannabis between daily to 2-3 times weekly for one or more years during adolescence, but were currently abstinent.

They were compared to subjects of similar age and sex who never used cannabis. Measurements were obtained of whole brain and certain brain areas, which are most often related to psychotic experiences and memory.

Scientists noted, that their "data are preliminary and need replication with larger numbers of subjects, although they do have implications for refuting the hypothesis that cannabis alone can cause a psychiatric disturbance such as schizophrenia by
directly producing brain pathology."


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