J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2021 Jul;27(6):592-606. doi: 10.1017/S1355617720001435.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Adolescence into young adulthood represents a sensitive period in which brain development significantly diverges by sex. Regular cannabis use by young people is associated with neuropsychological vulnerabilities, but the potential impact of sex on these relationships is unclear.

METHOD: In a cross-sectional study, we examined sex differences in multi-domain neuropsychological functioning using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and tested whether sex moderated the relationship between cognitive performance and age of initiation, frequency of cannabis use, amount of cannabis use, and withdrawal symptoms in at least weekly adolescent and young adult cannabis users (n = 171; aged 13-25 years; 46.2% female).

RESULTS: Male cannabis users had poorer visual recognition memory and female cannabis users showed worse attention and executive functions, with medium to large effect sizes. These sex effects persisted, when controlling for age, IQ, amount of alcohol and nicotine use, mood and anxiety symptoms, emotional stability and impulsive behavior. Earlier age of initiated use and more use were associated with worse attentional functions in females, but not males. More use was more strongly associated with worse episodic memory in males than in females. More use was associated with poorer learning in males only.

CONCLUSIONS: Domain-specific patterns of neuropsychological performance were found by sex, such that males showed poorer visual memory and females showed worse performance on measures of attention (sustained visual, multitasking) and executive functioning (spatial planning/working memory subdomains). Larger studies including healthy controls are needed to determine if the observed sex differences are more exaggerated relative to non-users.

PMID:34261559 | DOI:10.1017/S1355617720001435


Source: ncbi 2

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