HCPLive Network

Cannabis Damages Young Brains More than Previously Thought

New findings from a team of Canadian researchers led by Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, researcher, neuroscience axis, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, and psychiatrist and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, show that young brains are affected more by the illicit drug than originally thought. In fact, the researchers found that long-term daily consumption of cannabis among teens can induce anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in adulthood, as well as other irreversible, long-term effects on the brain.
Although previous epidemiological studies have demonstrated the affect on behavior of cannabis use among teenagers, Dr. Gobbi explained that the current 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.” The study also looked at whether the brains of teenagers are more susceptible than those of adults to the neurological effects of cannabis use. Indeed, the study is the first to show that more serious damage is caused with cannabis consumption during adolescence than during adulthood.
“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.
More on the Effects of Cannabis: Resources for You and Your Patients

Further Reading
How would you handle negative comments left anonymously on an online physician-grading website?

Do you know any parents who�ve made the decision not to vaccinate their children because they are convinced there is a link between vaccines and autism?

For women who consume alcohol during pregnancy, age does appear to be a factor in determining the extent of the child's neurobehavioral outcome.
Findings from a new study indicate that analyzing the unique signature of children's pre-speech vocalization can help in identifying autism.
A new study finds that there is no evidence of any benefits associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children with autism, and that the drugs may even lead to serious adverse effects.
Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index is negatively associated with children's cognitive performance at ages 5 and 7, although the overall effect size is modest, according to research published online Dec. 10 in Pediatrics.
Two new iPhone applications aim to facilitate medical transcription and handling phone calls, activities that still occupy the bulk of time for many physicians.
More Reading