“Teenagers respond differently to drugs than adults, and early use may lead to long-lasting effects on brain development, according to new research.”
A study presented at the Society for Neuroscience
meeting, in San Diego last week, shows people who start using marijuana at a young age have more cognitive shortfalls. Also, the more marijuana a person used in adolescence, the more trouble they had with focus and attention.
“Early onset smokers have a different pattern of brain activity, plus got far fewer correct answers in a row and made way more errors on certain cognitive tests,” says study author Staci Gruber, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) backed that up. Gruber presented fMRI data that showed that the frontal cortex of marijuana users’ brains activated differently. The frontal cortex is where attention, decision-making and executive function take place.
The author and study suggests that, “Given the prevalence of marijuana use in the United States, these findings underscore the importance of establishing effective strategies to decrease marijuana use, especially in younger populations,” she says.
If you want to read the article in its entirety, click on this link: