Cannabis use 'heightens risk of psychosis'

1st December 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Youths who frequently use cannabis before the age of 16 face a much greater risk of psychotic symptoms later in life than those who use the drug at a later age, Dutch research indicated Wednesday.

1 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Youths who frequently use cannabis before the age of 16 face a much greater risk of psychotic symptoms later in life than those who use the drug at a later age, Dutch research indicated Wednesday.

The research conducted by Maastricht University and published in the British Medical Journal also indicated that the risk was much higher in youths who were already genetically vulnerable to developing a psychosis.

Earlier research had found a link between cannabis use and psychotic problems, but the latest research indicates that not everyone is equally vulnerable for psychiatric problems at a later age.

It is thought that cannabis disrupts the balance of the key mood chemical dopamine in the brain and lead Maastricht researcher Professor Jim van Os urged vulnerable youths to stay away from the drug, BBC reported.

Adjusting for social and economic status and the use of other drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, the researchers found cannabis use moderately increased the risk of psychotic symptoms. But those with a genetic vulnerability for a psychosis were much more at risk.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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