Cannabis Use during Adolescence Affects Brain Regions Associated with Schizophrenia: Research
New research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) published in Nature’s Neuropsychopharmacology has shown physical changes to exist in specific brain areas implicated in schizophrenia following the use of cannabis during adolescence.
The research has shown how cannabis use during adolescence can interact with a gene, called the COMT gene, to cause physical changes in the brain.
The COMT gene provides instructions for making enzymes which breakdown a specific chemical messenger called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps conduct signals from one nerve cell to another, particularly in the brains reward and pleasure centres.
Adolescent cannabis use and its interaction with particular forms of the COMT gene have been shown to cause physical changes in the brain as well as increasing the risk of developing schizophrenia. Continue reading…Medical Daily