Tags: pot | study | brain | changes | shrinkage

Pot Study: Brain Changes From Marijuana May Include Shrinkage

Image: Pot Study: Brain Changes From Marijuana May Include Shrinkage
Brains Size Comparison, illustration. (Green52/dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 05:24 PM

Regularly using pot can lead to changes in the brain, a new study suggests.

On average, regular marijuana users have less gray matter in their orbital frontal cortex than those who have never used marijuana, The Los Angeles Times reported. The part of the brain affected is key to reward, motivation, decision-making, and addictive behaviors.

The smaller brains in regular pot users seem to compensate with increased connectivity and the structural integrity of the brain tissue, The Washington Post reported.

"It suggests that there is definitely a more complicated pattern that the brain seems to be able to compensate for any kind of loss in order to keep that network maintained," Francesca Filbey, lead author of the study said, according to the Post.

Those who started using pot at a younger age showed more protective effects, but those benefits start to erode after about six or seven years of use, the Post said.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas' Center for Brain Health and the Albuquerque-based Mind Research Network, examined 62 non-marijuana users and 48 regular marijuana users, who reported using pot about three times a day for an average of about 10 years.

Previous studies have suggested that the smaller brains of pot users could have existed before they began using pot, possibly even contributing to the likelihood of drug use.

According to a 2012 study, those with smaller orbitofrontal cortex volumes at age 12 were more likely to begin using pot by age 16.

Paul Armentano, deputy director of the nonprofit National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, questioned the significance of the study.

"Investigators in this study failed to assess whether any of these differences are positively associated with any measurable adverse performance outcomes, such as cognitive [mental] performance or quality of life," Armentano told HealthDay.

Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said the study supports the idea that marijuana use may be harmful.

"As resilient as our bodies are, your body's not going to be able to keep up with that cumulative exposure over the long run," he said, according to HealthDay.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Regularly using pot can lead to changes in the brain, a new study suggests. On average, regular marijuana users have less gray matter in their orbital frontal cortex than those who have never used marijuana.
pot, study, brain, changes, shrinkage
367
2014-24-11
Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 05:24 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved