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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,112
Marijuana brain study
    #5005190 - 12/02/05 02:43 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Marijuana brain study
December 1, 2005 - wtnh.com

Some might say that marijuana is not a dangerous drug overall.

But new research released today suggests that it can have a profound negative impact on the development of the adolescent brain, and maybe even predispose one to schizophrenia.

With the drinking age at 21, many teens turn to marijuana as a way to get high. And many would argue, that given the two evils, marijuana is a lesser one. That can be debated at length, but consider the new research which shows that adolescents who are heavy pot smokers have visual changes on their brain scans--showing diminished development in key areas, which are important for higher level thinking.

Dr. Sanjeev Kumra, a researcher at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, says, “This is a fiber involved in language development that this is an area where there is growth and developing in late adolescence. They are becoming stronger as people get older.”

Actually, those areas are supposed to be getting stronger.

“During adolescents a number of different cognitive functions are continuing to grow and improve. We know the type of essay you can write at grade 9 is very different than the type of essay you can write in college. There must be parts of the brain that are growing that allow you to be able to think more in abstract terms to be able to use inferential thinking,” says Dr. Kumra.

But with heavy pot smoking, there’s now visual evidence this and other key parts of the brain may very well be damaged—perhaps permanently.

Research presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s Annual Meeting shows that heavy use of marijuana may be putting adolescents at risk for delayed development of an important area of the brain--in the language area.

It’s here--in the region of the arcuate fasiculus--fasiculus referring simply a bundle of nerve fibers which is now seen to be affected significantly by pot smoking.

The researchers compared the brains of non pot smoking kids to heavy smokers. They actually created an average brain of each group using a technique called diffusion tensor imaging.

“And then we subtract those two images to see where the brains are different. And that’s where we end up with these sort of orange blobs which tell us what these forebrains regions are different in those who smoke cannabis compared to the healthy individuals who don’t smoke cannabis,” says Dr. Kumra.

The researchers found the abnormalities were the same as those found in schizophrenics.

And when they looked at schizophrenics who smoked pot, the abnormalities were even more pronounced.

So in addition to interfering with normal brain development, heavy marijuana use in adolescents may also lead to an earlier onset of schizophrenia in those predisposed to the disorder.

“People who think that marijuana a is a safe drug or a benign drug, we have evidence that that may not be true and even more so for the adolescents who are at risk for schizophrenia. This may be a very dangerous drug for them to be using,” Dr. Kumra argues.

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug. Over 25 million individuals used it in 2003. Around 17 to 22 percent of high school students smoke pot at least on a monthly basis.


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OfflineGulGen
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: veggie]
    #5005646 - 12/02/05 06:29 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

I'm amazed at how many "scientific" studies, um, suck. Or at least the reported results of them. Unless you take a large population and randomly create the control and experimental groups yourself causation cannot be proved. Maybe marijuana makes you stupid. Maybe stupid people are drawn to it. Maybe it's the government mind-control rays that encourage both stupidity and marijuana use.

:nut::shiftyeyes::weirdeyes:


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Invisibledblaney
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Registered: 10/03/04
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: GulGen]
    #5005659 - 12/02/05 06:53 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

The researchers compared the brains of non pot smoking kids to heavy smokers. They actually created an average brain of each group using a technique called diffusion tensor imaging.

I just assumed that this meant that the non pot smoking kids were the control group and the heavy smokers were the experimental group, and they were randomized within each group. However, you're right in that there are many lurking variables in this study, and it would have been better if they had taken a SRS of the entire population, and then randomly assigned each subject to one of the groups, instead of just the survey format.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Offlinecoda
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: dblaney]
    #5006007 - 12/02/05 11:12 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

the one thing about medical studies is you cant trust the majority of them. Data is dependent on humans, and humans, well humans are some of the most careless things on this planet. If any of you guys remember the mdma/methamphetamine screw up at JHU..... Its because of that study that ive lost faith in a lot of the people who conduct them, if you cant even get your chemicals straight what means i can trust your results.


--------------------
To get really high is to forget yourself. And to forget yourself is to see everything else. And to see everything else is to become an understanding molecule in evolution, a conscious tool of the universe. And I think every human being should be a conscious tool of the universe. . . .

-JG

i really am glad you came back to us instead of taking the other path. *hug*

-A_S (RIP your final words to me will never be forgotten)



Don't fuck with the laughing jesus.


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: coda]
    #5006085 - 12/02/05 11:42 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

> the one thing about medical studies is you cant trust the majority of them

You are correct, for the most part. However, when illegal drugs are involved, and federal money is involved, the results are almost always fudged in the direction of prohibition. There are literally hundreds of studies done on the effects of illegal drugs that are extremly misleading... to the point that the research is completely worthless.

Feeding meth to an animal to find out how bad MDMA is (as you pointed out)
Forcing a monkey to smoke a pound of cannabis to show cannabis is dangerous
etc etc etc

The big problem is that media doesn't understand how to tell if a study is good or bad (or they simply don't care?). They see something with a good headline and publish. The study itself may be flawed, there may not be any independent verification, the sample size may be only a few people, etc, but none of that matters to the press... as long as they get their big headline, they are happy.

I don't trust any study until I have read the methods and procedures used and see that another lab or two have verified the results.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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Offlinedumbsnake34
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Registered: 12/14/04
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: Seuss]
    #5007051 - 12/02/05 05:03 PM (16 years, 1 day ago)

anyone have a reference to the actual study. We really can't argue about its validity until we read the study. I am tired of biased people on both sides, and disregarding a study without even reading it is NOT scientific. Until you all grow up and start actually having informed opinions you have no right to bitch at others for not having them. I, personally, don't think that smoking pot is horrible, but as a scientist, I would want to atleast talk to someone I trust who actually looked at that study. I would like to actually read it and then make my mind up. I think it is VERY possible that smoking pot while your brain is still developing could have noticable effects on brain developement.


--------------------
mmmm, daydreaming


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,112
Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: dumbsnake34]
    #5007269 - 12/02/05 06:01 PM (16 years, 1 day ago)



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OfflineGulGen
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: dumbsnake34]
    #5008053 - 12/02/05 09:32 PM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

dumbsnake34 said:
We really can't argue about its validity until we read the study. I am tired of biased people on both sides, and disregarding a study without even reading it is NOT scientific. Until you all grow up and start actually having informed opinions you have no right to bitch at others for not having them.




I agree in principal, but in this case we do know enough about the study to say that it mustn't logically follow that smoking pot has any particular effects. This study was done with self-selective groups of people: those that, by their own decisions, chose to either smoke marijuana or not. As such, any results that are drawn cannot possibly tell the difference between effects caused by smoking, and effects caused by the same thing that convinced them to smoke in the first place.

It's like if I were to do a study proving that people wearing cowboy hats were more likely to speak with southern accents. If that was reported as "Wearing cowboy hats causes southern accents", then wouldn't it be fair to accuse that of bring a bad conclusion?


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OfflineThePredator
Your a eunich ifyou don't useunix!

Registered: 08/23/05
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: GulGen]
    #5013945 - 12/04/05 03:28 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Also the accuracy of the neurologist who reveiwed the images must be taken under consideration. Until we get a reconstruction of this study by a more known neurologist I shall consider this one speculation.


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Offlinedumbsnake34
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Registered: 12/14/04
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: ThePredator]
    #5015098 - 12/04/05 09:04 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

CONCLUSION

These data suggest that cannabis use is associated with an exacerbation of abnormal developmental trajectories of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia.
-> this point seems to be liely to be the case if the study was done at al decently

The relationship between lower FA values in the SMA and working memory provide further support for a hypothesis that adolescence-related neurodevelopmental events may contribute to the pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.
-> this conclusion can't really be reached so easily

I think this study does a good job at showing association between early weed use and the brain abnormalities. There are 4 ways to take this:
1) weed causes the brain abnormalities
2) the brain abnormalities cause people to smoke weed
3) there is a common factor that causes both weed smoking and brain abnormalities
4) some combination of the first 3

I know that if I had been smoking weed during highschool there is a lot of learning that I wouldn't have been able to do as well. When one isn't able to fully apply ones brain to learning, you lose the ability to use parts of your brain that you don't use. Sure, you can probably redevelope them later, but much of what you do while you are growing up shapes your brain and sets you up to have certain natural capacities. Who here can think as well after smoking a couple bowls? BTW, thanks for not flaming me. I kinda expected to get flamed, but I really appreciate that you all were fair and respectful. And I do agree that it would be nice to see someone repeat this study to see if there is in fact a risk, and we should keep in mind that being drunk while growing up is obviously far more likely to cause problems for one later than being high.

Peace


--------------------
mmmm, daydreaming


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OfflinePirate_Patrick
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: dumbsnake34]
    #5017821 - 12/05/05 03:00 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

I sort of agree with this articule but not based on scientific evidence, just personal experience. I've seen countless intelligent friends through highschool start smoking heavy amounts of pot and by the time they are 20, they are complete dolts. No ambitions, they dont care about anything, some struggle with keeping jobs. I choose at a very early age to not do any drugs until I was much older. I didn't start drinking, smoking pot, or taking psychedelics until I was 23. My brain developed just fine because there wasn't any interference from any substance. I'm very glad I made that decision when I was younger.


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OfflinePsiloman
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: veggie]
    #5018804 - 12/05/05 06:55 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

As a general comment:

Many people in this forum are smoking pot,almost daily ,for some its their favorite past time.

I wonder if a study saying " Pot improves articulation,thinking,memory and delays schizophrenia" would be received as skeptically and with such meticulous examination as this one was received... My guess is that far less people would try to look in the details of the study,propose wanted commentary from "a more known scientist" and generally doubt the research.Most people would suffice themselves to "Hoorays" and quoting the beneficial when someone spoke detrimentally about cannabis.

Something tells me that the present study is not to be "quotable" by shroomery members...


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,112
Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: Psiloman]
    #5021037 - 12/06/05 01:25 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

You have a good point. I think it is normal, though, for people to be more critical or skeptical of studies where the seeming result of a study or research differs from one's own opinion or point of view.

More positive stories about marijuana and its' various compounds potential benefits do seem to get less of a response here than the negative stories, perhaps because we as a community may tend to more readily agree with favorable results of a study due to our personal opinion or experience.

Two stories recently that come to mind are:
Cannabis 'could reverse psychosis'
High-dose cannabis stimulates growth of brain cells in rats

Certainly more research needs to be done. Personally, I do believe that there are some folks who have a mental disorder, diagnosed or undiagnosed, whose problems will get worse from using pot. But the continued studies for cannabinoids as an anti-psychotic, antidepressant, aid to cancer, AIDS, MS and pain patients, etc. will show eventuially that the benefits far outweigh the risks.


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Offlinedumbsnake34
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: veggie]
    #5024971 - 12/06/05 08:17 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

I suspect that as we do more research we will find that for some people, weed may help them overall and for others, it may hurt them overall. I highly doubt that weed is something that everyone should smoke or eat or whatever. And I find it equally hard to imagine that no one can benefit from it. The reason is that I have seen people be clearly hurt by weed and I have seen others clearly helped by it. If this community tries to be less biased they will get more credibility. The issue of the health of marijuana needs people who are fair to the issue because they will be more likely to gain trust and clear the smoke so that everyone will know what the truth is. A simple "it is always good" or "it is always bad" is not going to cut it people.


--------------------
mmmm, daydreaming


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OfflineXUL
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: dumbsnake34]
    #5031600 - 12/08/05 12:53 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

most drugs are bad for the body anyway. Its not news to me


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TRUMP 2020


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OfflineThePredator
Your a eunich ifyou don't useunix!

Registered: 08/23/05
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Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: XUL]
    #5041344 - 12/09/05 11:09 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

XUL, on what do you base this? Ever heard of endo-drugs? THye are analogs of the drugs users take and they have never harmed anybody, its only the amp family that can really be suspected of doing harm.


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Invisibleambros
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Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 79
Re: Marijuana brain study [Re: veggie]
    #5043981 - 12/10/05 02:28 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Will we get strains genetically engineered and/or breeded for high/low content of different cannabinoids?

Is synthetic production of cannabinoids likely to be able to compete with natural sources in the future? (if legal and massproduction)


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