health

Reefer madness: Marijuana throws brain regions out of sync

30 Comments
By Wynne Parry

Marijuana hurts memory and cognition, and a new rat study indicates this is because it causes once-coordinated brain regions to fall out of sync with each other. The result resembles the effects of schizophrenia, the neuroscientists found.

The researchers measured the electrical activity in nerve cells of rats given a drug that mimics the effect of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The drug had only subtle effects on individual brain regions; however, it disrupted the coordinated activity between regions of the brain.

Specifically, they found the drug disrupted the coordinated fluctuations in electrical activity — called brain waves — across the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. The result resembled two instruments within an orchestra playing out of sync.

A lack of synchronization between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex — areas of the brain associated with memory and decision-making — is also associated with schizophrenia.

A group of severe brain disorders, schizophrenia causes people to interpret reality abnormally. Its symptoms may include a combination of hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking and behavior, according to the Mayo Clinic.

As a result of the disruption to their brain activity, the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze.

Marijuana abuse is common among sufferers of schizophrenia, the researchers say. In fact, other recent work has shown that the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana can induce some symptoms of schizophrenia in healthy volunteers, according to Matt Jones, a study researcher at the University of Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology. [Marijuana Worsens Schizophrenia]

"These findings are therefore important for our understanding of psychiatric diseases, which may arise as a consequence of 'disorchestrated brains' and could be treated by re-tuning brain activity," Jones said of the recent work, which appears tomorrow in the Oct 25 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

"These results are an important step forward in our understanding of how rhythmic activity in the brain underlies thought processes in health and disease," said Michal Kucewicz, a study author also with the University of Bristol.

© LiveScience

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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So basically, rats should not smoke pot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Weed makes people lazy and stupid and fat, so just look at the USA?? Ah yes, many fat, lazy stupid people from yes MARIJUANA!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Drugs make your brain do wacky things. How revolutionary. Us non-drug users have known that for a long time. It's about time you caught up!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The marijuana being sold today is far from a natural product - try to smoke a wild hemp plant and see how high you get. The THC levels in today's product are so high that the use of marijuana is not a social activity as it was once considered. The takeover by organized crime in its manufacture and distribution has made marijuana a true drug.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Potheads make a zillion excuses to save their sacred herb.

Sounds like the addiction talking.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I find this hard to believe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Md2WNqqxTQ

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nothing better then to blow of some steam with a big fat joint on friday night.

Only dopes do dope

Throw all the potheads in prison and make them eat prison food for the rest of their lives.

I wished you guys followed my lead, it would make ya`ll less hostile...

Since when are people rats? They discovered these findings in rats and then smoothly change the story into something that it looks that it involves people...

As a result of the disruption to their brain activity, the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze.

Pfff this is something my wife and a zillion other women suffers from too, though they never ever smoked a joint!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Throw all the potheads in prison and make them eat prison food for the rest of their lives.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The researchers measured the electrical activity in nerve cells of rats given a drug that mimics the effect of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Fail. The study didn't use marijuana, but a (man-made) completely different drug which simulates THC. Moreover, marijuana has over 60 different beneficial canniboids, of which THC is only one.

This is not news, but propaganda, as someone wrote above.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In moderation its fine. Daily use causes said effects. They must have been talking about me in their study. Thank goodness its not readily available in nippon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Oh no! Someone is bad-mouthing my weed! Must be a conspiracy!"

Uhh, not sure memory loss is the only negative effect here.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Only dopes do dope.

RR

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

the rats would have been there lickety split.

you mean lickety spliff

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If there was a refrigerator at the end of the maze with lots of cheese in it, you can bet your bottom dollar that the rats would have been there lickety split.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Marijuana, often associated with memory loss, is ironically now being hyped as a way to stave off the ultimate form of memory loss: Alzheimer's. Recent studies on mice suggest that anti-inflammatories found in the drug prevent the clumping of brain proteins, one major cause of the disease.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I hope I don't sound paranoid when i say that i think articles like this are specifically written to RUIN MY BUZZ.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another question: who finances this kind of study and why? The scientists mentioned don't do these studies out of their own savings and they work in the pharmacology dept. of a university. You can bet this is grant money from Big Pharma. What Big Pharma really wants to tell you about marijuana is that it's dangerously bad until Big Pharma can find a patentable way to make money off it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ok so dont let rats do pot they'll be find, as for the rest of you it's your choice if you choose to bong out or not.

And how were these rats once they were gievn alcohol were they beligirent, violent and dangerous behind the wheel of the car or what?

These reports are silly someone else could commision a study and report that pot helps to relieve glycoma, side effects of cancer treatments, arthritis and many other ailments.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What was the dosage?

Also, many droppings of the s-bomb, but does alcohol also cause schizophrenia-like asynchronization of brain regions? If so, these results seem a bit hyped and agenda-filled, and you could just as easily say "marijuana causes alcohol-like diruptions to the brain."

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As a result of the disruption to their brain activity, the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze.

Yeah, but the rats laughed the whole time.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The same could be said for any drug especially alcohol which is a major problem to health-everything in moderation........!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can't even buy nutritional hemps seeds from overseas. Do they think we are going to smoke them ? Yet, hemp seeds are in some Japanese condiments.

I know people who have had Schizophrenia and have never taken drugs of any sort.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

One wonders where these carefully calculated attempts to demonize weed come from? I can think of only two sources:

Either it's an utterly oblivious but clearly skilled reporter who accidentally and unquestioningly happened to word and title a story which insinuates that marijuana causes brain damage and schizophrenia, while appearing to be merely a factual report on scientific studies...

Or, it is deliberately done by people who are highly educated and articulate. It's a truly fine piece of propaganda the likes of which not many could create. This would either be a labor of love, or a reasonably well-paid job.

Who is paying for this? And why? Think about it. It's quite likely that Big Pharma spends money astroturfing and grassrooting, because they would be big losers if marijuana is legalized. There are plenty of expensive drugs they sell for things that so many people would decide that a bong hit handles cheaper, better and faster. This was my mother's own reluctant conclusion as she suffered through two radical bouts of chemo and then died of cancer.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

regardless of the outcome of this so called "research" i'd still rather get baked and be able to be in control of my body instead of being black-out drunk and have no control of my body.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Only users lose drugs...

7 ( +10 / -3 )

"...the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze." Give those rats alcohol and they'ed probably do worse. And alcohol kills brains cells (killed a few last night).

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I know so many people who smoke this - weird how they all seem to share the same characteristics of being uncaring, aimless and entitled.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze

I assume this happens while the rats are under the influence of the drug. That is no surprise. The article is unclear (deliberately?) as to whether THC causes brain regions to be out of sync after exposure, or for how long. The headline suggests long-term damage, but the conclusion of the researchers seems to focus on what they have learned about psychiatric diseases.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They don't call it "dope" for nothing.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Crap. And they said cell phones can cause cancer. And they said electromagnetic fields induces cancer And they said coffee causes cancer And they said apple juice induces cancer

Marijuana has been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years until the mighty USA said its a drug.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

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