Brain Sci. 2022 Feb 18;12(2):287. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12020287.


BACKGROUND: Numerous neuropsychological studies have shown that cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood led to deficits in sustained and selective attention. However, few studies have examined functional connectivity in attentional networks among young cannabis users, nor have characterized relationships with cannabis use patterns following abstinence.

METHODS: Differences in resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) within the dorsal (DAN) and ventral (VAN) attention networks were examined in 36 adolescent and young adult cannabis users and 39 non-substance using controls following two weeks of monitored abstinence. Observed connectivity differences were then correlated with past-year and lifetime cannabis use, length of abstinence, age of regular use onset, and Cannabis Use Disorder symptoms (CUD).

RESULTS: After controlling for alcohol and nicotine use, cannabis users had lower RSFC within the DAN network, specifically between right inferior parietal sulcus and right anterior insula, as well as white matter, relative to controls. This region was associated with more severe cannabis use measures, including increased lifetime cannabis use, shorter length of abstinence, and more severe CUD symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate that regular cannabis use by adolescents and young adults is associated with subtle differences in resting state connectivity within the DAN, even after two weeks of monitored abstinence. Notably, more severe cannabis use markers (greater lifetime use, CUD symptoms, and shorter abstinence) were linked with this reduced connectivity. Thus, findings support public policy aimed at reducing and delaying cannabis use and treatments to assist with sustained abstinence. Future longitudinal studies are needed to investigate causation.

PMID:35204050 | DOI:10.3390/brainsci12020287

Source: ncbi 2

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