Journal article

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Long-term effects of cannabis on brain structure

  • Battistella, Giovanni Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Switzerland -
  • Fornari, Eleonora Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Switzerland -
  • Annoni, Jean-Marie Neurology Units, Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Chtioui, Haithem Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Dao, Kim Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Fabritius, Marie University Center of Legal Medicine, Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Favrat, Bernard University Center of Legal Medicine, Unit of Psychology and Traffic Medicine, Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mall, Jean-Frédéric Department of Psychiatry, Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l'Age Avancé, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Maeder, Philippe Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Giroud, Christian University Center of Legal Medicine, Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit, Lausanne, Switzerland
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    16.04.2014
Published in:
  • Neuropsychopharmacology. - 2014
English The dose-dependent toxicity of the main psychoactive component of cannabis in brain regions rich in cannabinoid CB1 receptors is well known in animal studies. However, research in humans does not show common findings across studies regarding the brain regions that are affected after long-term exposure to cannabis. In the present study, we investigate (using Voxel-based Morphometry) gray matter changes in a group of regular cannabis smokers in comparison with a group of occasional smokers matched by the years of cannabis use. We provide evidence that regular cannabis use is associated with gray matter volume reduction in the medial temporal cortex, temporal pole, parahippocampal gyrus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex; these regions are rich in cannabinoid CB1 receptors and functionally associated with motivational, emotional, and affective processing. Furthermore, these changes correlate with the frequency of cannabis use in the 3 months before inclusion in the study. The age of onset of drug use also influences the magnitude of these changes. Significant gray matter volume reduction could result either from heavy consumption unrelated to the age of onset or instead from recreational cannabis use initiated at an adolescent age. In contrast, the larger gray matter volume detected in the cerebellum of regular smokers without any correlation with the monthly consumption of cannabis may be related to developmental (ontogenic) processes that occur in adolescence.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Médecine 3ème année
Language
  • English
Classification
Biology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/303667
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