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Reduction in hippocampal volumes subsequent to heavy cannabis use: a 3-year longitudinal study.

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Nov 24;:113588

Authors: Wang Y, Zuo C, Wang W, Xu Q, Hao L

Cannabis exposure is related to neuroanatomical changes in brain regions rich in cannabinoid receptors, such as the hippocampus. However, researchers have not clearly determined whether persistent heavy cannabis use leads to morphological changes in the hippocampus or whether an earlier age of onset of first cannabis use and/or higher doses of cannabis exposure exacerbate these alterations. In this longitudinal study, we investigated whether continued heavy cannabis use in young adults is associated with an altered hippocampal volume. Twenty heavy cannabis users (CBs) and 22 healthy controls (HCs) underwent a comprehensive psychological assessment and a T1 structural scan at baseline and at a 3-year follow-up visit. Volumes of the hippocampus and its subregions were estimated using volBrain software. Except for the cornu ammonis 2 (CA2)/CA3 subregions, age had significant effects on all hippocampal subregions in both the CB and HC groups. The relative right hippocampal volume and absolute and relative right CA1 volumes displayed a greater rate of decrease in CBs compared to HCs. In addition, we explored the relationship between alterations in hippocampal volume and cannabis use characteristics. Changes in the relative right hippocampal volume and the relative right CA1 volume were related to age at first cannabis use but not to age at onset of frequent cannabis use. Alterations in the relative right hippocampal volume and absolute and relative right CA1 volumes were associated with Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT) scores. Based on these results, heavy cannabis use in early adulthood is a risk factor for a greater rate of decrease in the volume of the right hippocampus (particularly the right CA1).

PMID: 33261923 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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Categories: Medical

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