Pubdate: Tue, 21 Oct 2014
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Page: A3
Copyright: 2014 The London Free Press
Author: Jonathan Sher
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


HEALTH: Scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute find marijuana
use increases abnormal brain activity

While some think a marijuana joint is an antidote for depression, the
opposite may be true, a study by researchers at Lawson Health Research
Institute in London shows. Using an MRI that detects brain activity,
scientists found that youth who both suffer from depression and use
marijuana had more abnormal activity than those who face either of
those separately. "Some people Elizabeth Osuch have suggested that
marijuana may be an effective treatment for depression. Our results
suggest that this conclusion is premature," said Elizabeth Osuch.
"These findings suggest that depressed youth increase their risk of
functional brain abnormalities through the use of marijuana and that
more research into these effects is needed."

The finding, reported in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, may have
implications for the clinical treatment of depression in young adults.

"We know that recreational use of marijuana is increasing in
adolescents. There is also a growing association between marijuana use
and mood disorders. What we were interested in finding out was how
marijuana use affects reward-processing in the brain in youth with
depression," said Osuch, a Lawson scientist and medical director of
the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program at London Health Sciences
Centre. That means youth and young adults who suffer or who have
suffered from depression may be at risk of greater harm from using
marijuana, Osuch said. Her work was financed with a grant from the
Ontario Mental Health Foundation.  
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