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Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes

RATE THIS! +25
Posted in Science on 17th Apr, 2014 01:14 AM by AlexMuller
Using marijuana a few times a week is enough to physically alter critical brain structures, according to a new study published Tuesday in The Journal of Neuroscience. "Just casual use appears to create changes in the brain in areas you don't want to change," said Hans Breiter, a psychiatrist and mathematician who led the study.
 
There is actually very little research on the potential benefits and downsides of casual marijuana smoking, fewer than four times a week on average. In his study, done in collaboration with researchers at Harvard University, scientists looked at the brains of 20 relatively light marijuana users and 20 people who did not use it at all. All 40 were college students in the Boston area.
 
The study found volume, shape and density changes in two crucial brain areas, the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, involved with emotion and motivation and some types of mental illness. "This is a part of the brain you do not want to mess around with," Breiter said.

Tags: braindrugsmarijuanacannabishealth

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-17
+2
Brain is the most complex organ that we know and are trying to find out how the structures support various functions- finding a change in structure is one thing, understanding the consequences of such change, quite another
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-17
+2
Nevertheless these structural changes are an important warning that even casual use of marihuana could be dangerous - an important fact when considering that many would like that this drug is freely accessible
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-18
+0
Neuroscience advances will be necessary to enhance our understanding of various substances including medication in current use Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-17
+1
What we are learning here is not just how little we know about drugs that some consider safe and helpful but how much we need to advance in neuroscience in general before we can tackle effects of drugs and brain disorders Reply
Reply


 

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