'Cannabis causes chaos in the brain'

Cannabis causes chaos in the brain as nerve activity becomes uncoordinated and inaccurate, a study has found.

The results may help explain links between cannabis and schizophrenia, scientists believe.

Researchers at the University of Bristol measured the brain responses of rats given a drug that mimics the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

They found that the drug completely disrupted co-ordinated brain waves across the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

The first brain region plays a key role in the formation of memories. The second is essential to planning, decision making and social behaviour. Both are heavily implicated in schizophrenia.

Rats exposed to the cannabis-like drug became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating through a maze.

The research is reported today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Study leader Dr Matt Jones said: "Marijuana abuse is common among sufferers of schizophrenia and recent studies have shown that the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana can induce some symptoms of schizophrenia in healthy volunteers.

"These findings are therefore important for our understanding of psychiatric diseases, which may arise as a consequence of 'disorchestrated brains' and could be treated by retuning brain activity."

Co-author Michal Kucewicz, also from the University of Bristol, said: "These results are an important step forward in our understanding of how rhythmic activity in the brain underlies thought processes in health and disease."

The research was part of a Medical Research Council-funded collaboration between the university and drug company Eli Lilly & Co.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative / Forklift Driver

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Through a combination of excell...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Manager

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are looking for a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Plan Champion

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Service Plan Champi...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Plan Champion

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Service Plan Champi...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific