Saturday, June 7, 2008
Long term use of marijuana causes significant brain injury
Reuters Health Day reported on June 2, 2008 on a study which appears in the June, 2008 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry which was done in Australia which found that there are serious long term negative effects of marijuana use on the brain. Here is part of the what the Reuters article says:
MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- People who use marijuana for a long time can develop abnormalities in their brains, Australian researchers report.
Although growing literature suggests that long-term marijuana use is associated with a wide range of adverse health consequences, many people believe it is relatively harmless and should be legalized, the researchers noted.
"However, this study shows long-term, heavy cannabis use causes significant brain injury, memory loss, difficulties learning new information, and psychotic symptoms, such as delusions of persecution [paranoia], delusions of mind-reading, and bizarre social behaviors in even non-vulnerable users," said lead researcher Murat Yucel, from the ORYGEN Research Centre and the Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne.
This new evidence plays an important role in further understanding the effects of marijuana and its impact on brain functioning, Yucel said. "The study is the first to show that long-term cannabis use can adversely affect all users, not just those in the high-risk categories such as the young, or those susceptible to mental illness, as previously thought," he said.
The report was published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
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