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Chronic Cannabis Use May Cause Brain Inflammation

coordination learning immune cells cerebellum delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol microglial cell activation

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#1 Hum

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 22:10

 Chronic marijuana use may cause inflammation in the brain that leads to problems with coordination and learning, a new study in animals suggests.

The study also teased out why this brain inflammation leads to motor and learning problems, and found a surprising answer — cannabis activates immune cells that appear to play a critical role in how a brain region called the cerebellum works.

In the study, mice were given delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, for six days. Then the mice were required to perform several tasks to test their coordination, as well as their ability to learn to associate a sound with a puff of air to the eye. During the latter task, called eyeblink conditioning, mice should learn to anticipate the air puff, and blink when they hear the sound.

Mice given THC showed impairments in both tasks. (A previous study in people also found that cannabis users had trouble in an eyeblink conditioning task.)

The researchers also found that THC activated microglial cells, which are immune cells in the cerebellum. These microglial cells then induced inflammation in the cerebellum, which resulted in the learning and coordination problems.

These problems went away when the researchers used a drug to prevent activation of microglial cells. This result could offer "interesting new therapeutic approaches for treating these cannabis-induced side effects, the researchers write in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

 

 Study researcher Andrés Ozaita, of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, noted that these side effects typically go away when the mice are no longer exposed to THC.

Chronic use of marijuana is known to lower the number of cannabinoid receptors (receptors that bind to THC) in the brain. The reduced number of receptors is what appears to eventually lead to the activating of the microglial cells, Ozaita said.

More research is needed to determine what kinds of problems these "cerebellar deficits" cause people to have in everyday life, Ozaita said. It's possible that microglial cell activation in the cerebellum causes hard-to-detect problems — such as a slightly delayed reaction time while driving — that researchers wouldn't know about unless they tested for them, he said.

In addition to brain inflammation, smoking cannabis has also been linked to lower IQ and an increased risk of schizophrenia.

source




#2 Growled

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 22:29


More research is needed to determine what kinds of problems these "cerebellar deficits" cause people to have in everyday life, Ozaita said.

 

Do tell.



#3 chrisj1968

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 22:29

I have a difficult time believing anyone who takes it for chronic pain would care. But Big pharma would do anything to get you to NOT take cannabis and take a pharmaceutical. This is big Pharma's cash cow



#4 Growled

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 22:42

I have a difficult time believing anyone who takes it for chronic pain would care. But Big pharma would do anything to get you to NOT take cannabis and take a pharmaceutical. This is big Pharma's cash cow

You are so right. A lot of money is involved. A lot. They'll do anything to keep it flowing.



#5 vcfan

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 22:43

 a new study in animals suggests.

 

ill stop them right there



#6 OP Hum

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 23:44

linked to lower IQ ...

 

 

The pot smokers I've seen, don't tend to be the brightest people. ;)



#7 Tigurinn

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 23:53

3uyywl.jpg

 

....definite brain inflammation :D



#8 compl3x

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:20

ill stop them right there

 

Why? Animal testing is common and a lot of useful information is gained from it. One of them "I don't understand it, therefore I dismiss it" types, are you?

 

------------

 

It's really no surprise long term cannabis abuse would lead to health problems. People who talk about cannabis being this completely safe drug are just as clueless as people who make out it is some "evil weed" which if legalised would destroy society.


Edited by compl3x, 25 June 2013 - 04:20.


#9 mudslag

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:24

linked to lower IQ ...

 

 

The pot smokers I've seen, don't tend to be the brightest people. ;)

 

 

 

You should try getting out more often. Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, ect. all bright pot smoking people. 


 

 

It's really no surprise long term cannabis abuse would lead to health problems. People who talk about cannabis being this completely safe drug are just as clueless as people who make out it is some "evil weed" which if legalised would destroy society.

 

 

 

Like everything else in life, moderation is key.



#10 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:24

"May cause" huh?  So, they're just guessing then? Riiiiiiight. :rolleyes:

 

Maybe I should loan them my brother... Then they'd KNOW what cannabis abuse does to you. :p



#11 slumdogtrillionaire

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:39

 Chronic marijuana use may cause inflammation
In the study, mice were given delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, for six days.
source

 

FAIL

 

marijuana is not THC alone. THC alone might do that not marijuana with hundreds of different natural substances in it some of which are probably undiscovered.



#12 vcfan

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 15:19

Why? Animal testing is common and a lot of useful information is gained from it. One of them "I don't understand it, therefore I dismiss it" types, are you?

 

animal testing means absolutely nothing. animals don't have the same immune systems, the same metabolisms as we do. how many times have scientists found cures for cancers that worked on rats, but didn't do a damn thing on humans?

 

its nice that they can get some insight by testing on animals, but its irresponsible to release this kind of information to the public. this is how so much misinformation gets spread around.its a shady tactic by scientists to get funding from opposition groups.



#13 JonnyLH

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 15:34

So if I'm baked I can't co-ordinate my blinks properly? Sounds about right.



#14 TPreston

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 15:51

Note to self : Apparently Its ok to ignore or dismiss peer reviewed evidence when it pertains to cannabis, climate change, vaccines and genetically modified food.

 

 

@PseudoSkeptics in this thread you are no different to creationists ragging on evolution;



#15 ahhell

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 16:13

Over-consumption of anything is bad for you.

 

Even water can kill you if drink too much.  :rolleyes: