The potentially damaging effects of marijuana on young brains may be even worse than previously thought, according to new research conducted by scientists from McGill University. Their new study, published in Neurobiology of Disease, suggests that teenagers who consume marijuana daily face a higher risk of depression and anxiety, and may suffer irreversible neurological effects.
"We wanted to know what happens in the brains of teenagers when they use cannabis and whether they are more susceptible to its neurological effects than adults," explained McGill University researcher Gabriella Gobbi.
The study points to an apparent action of cannabis on two important compounds in the brain – serotonin and norepinephrine – which are involved in the regulation of neurological functions such as mood control and anxiety.
"Teenagers who are exposed to cannabis have decreased serotonin transmission, which leads to mood disorders, as well as increased norepinephrine transmission, which leads to greater long-term susceptibility to stress," Dr. Gobbi stated.
While previous epidemiological studies have shown how cannabis consumption can affect behavior in some teenagers, "our study is one of the first to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms at the root of this influence of cannabis on depression and anxiety in adolescents," Dr. Gobbi claimed. It is also the first study to demonstrate that cannabis consumption causes more serious damage during adolescence than adulthood.
Citation: Francis Rodriguez Bambicoa, Nhu-Tram Nguyena, Noam Katza, Gabriella Gobbi, 'Chronic exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence but not during adulthood impairs emotional behaviour and monoaminergic neurotransmission', Neurobiology of Disease, Dec. 2009; doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2009.11.020
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Kenya Example: How Re-Analyzing Scientific Research Data Can Change The Findings
- New Results From The LHC At 13 TeV!
- Epigenetics: Quackery Or Phenomenon?
- Kepler 452b - Things That Could Go Wrong With Habitability & If It Is - Could We Detect Intelligent Life There?
- High Z: Metal Foams Shield X-rays, Gamma Rays And Neutron Radiation
- Are All Weight Loss Doctors Quacks?
- "Well, thanks - indeed I have the same impression :) And I do share your feelings about the recruitment..."
- "Exactly - the newest generation of hep C drugs have also drawn a lot of fire, but direct comparisons..."
- "The fervor surrounding the high costs of newcancer medications has many calling for government..."
- "I didn't really misunderstand, but I think what I was pointing out, fits into your system discussion..."
- "I’m not at all surprised by this. The idea that the Greeks used the golden ratio in everything..."
- Very early birth correlated to introversion, neuroticism, and risk aversion in adulthood
- Personality disorders drive psychiatric patients to euthanasia
- Schizophrenia's 'Rosetta Stone' gene identified
- Plasmonic superfast fluorescence sets new speed record
- Residential tourism increased earthquake risk, says sociologist