'Cannabis causes chaos in the brain'
Wednesday 26 October 2011
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.
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Revealed: Lidl’s £4 perfume smells identical to Chanel’s £70 scent - but the difference is in the bottle
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior SEO/ORM Content Execut...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an acknowledged...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...