Addict Biol. 2021 May 5:e13032. doi: 10.1111/adb.13032. Online ahead of print.
Sensorimotor dysfunction has been previously reported in persons with cannabis dependence. Such individuals can exhibit increased levels of neurological soft signs (NSS), particularly involving motor coordination and sensorimotor integration. Whether such abnormalities may also apply to non-dependent individuals with heavy cannabis use (HCU) is unknown, as much as the neural correlates underlying such deficits. In this study, we investigated associations between NSS and gray matter volume (GMV) in males with HCU and male controls. Twenty-four persons with HCU and 17 controls were examined using standardized assessment of NSS and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 3 T. GMV was calculated using voxel-based morphometry algorithms provided by the Computational Anatomy Toolbox (CAT12). Individuals with HCU showed higher NSS total scores compared to controls. In particular, significant NSS-subdomain effects were found for « motor coordination » (MoCo), « complex motor tasks » (CoMT), and « hard signs » (HS) expression in HCU (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected). Compared to controls, persons with HCU showed significant NSS/GMV interactions in putamen and inferior frontal cortex (MoCo), right cerebellum (CoMT) and middle and superior frontal cortices, and bilateral precentral cortex and thalamus (HS). In between-group analyses, individuals with HCU showed lower GMV in the right anterior orbital and precentral gyrus, as well as higher GMV in the right superior frontal gyrus and left supplementary motor cortex compared to controls. The data support the notion of abnormal sensorimotor performance associated with HCU. The data also provide a neuromechanistic understanding of such deficits, particularly with respect to aberrant cortical-thalamic-cerebellar-cortical circuit.
Source: ncbi 2