Navigation Links
A risk gene for cannabis psychosis

Philadelphia, PA, November 14, 2012 The ability of cannabis to produce psychosis has long been an important public health concern. This concern is growing in importance as there is emerging data that cannabis exposure during adolescence may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, a serious psychotic disorder. Further, with the advent of medical marijuana, a new group of people with uncertain psychosis risk may be exposed to cannabis.

For these reasons, it would be valuable if a biological test could be developed that predicted the risk for developing cannabis psychosis. This test could be used to advise people who abuse cannabis or to inform marijuana-prescribing decisions by physicians.

Recent research has implicated a variation in the gene that codes for a protein called RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt1) in the risk for cannabis psychosis. However, independent verification of these findings is critical for genetic associations with complex genetic traits, like cannabis-related psychosis, because these findings are notoriously difficult to replicate.

Led by first author Dr. Marta Di Forti at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, genetic researchers carried out a case control study to investigate variation in the AKT1 gene and cannabis use in increasing the risk of psychosis.

Di Forti said, "We studied the AKT1 gene as this is involved in dopamine signaling which is known to be abnormal in psychosis. Our sample comprised 489 patients with their first episode of psychosis and 278 healthy controls."

They performed genotyping on all volunteers, and assessed their use of cannabis. They found that AKT1 genotype influences the risk of psychotic disorders in cannabis users, which confirmed the prior report.

"We found that cannabis users who carry a particular variant in the AKT1 gene had a two-fold increased probability of a psychotic disorder and this increased up to seven-fold if they used cannabis daily," explained the authors. "Our findings help to explain why one cannabis user develops psychosis while his friends continue smoking without problems."

"While the AKT1 genotype does not rise to the level of a clinically useful test of the risk for cannabis psychosis, it does show that this source of psychosis risk has a genetic underpinning," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "This advance also points to cellular signaling mechanisms mediated by Akt1 as being relevant to the biology of cannabis psychosis. This may suggest research directions for novel therapeutics for cannabis psychosis."

Di Forti agreed, adding that "such findings could also help to design health educational campaigns tailored to reach those young people at particular risk."


Contact: Rhiannon Bugno

Related medicine news :

1. Added benefit of Cannabis sativa for spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is not proven
2. Book Banning: The Illinois Department of Corrections Bans The Cannabis Papers by “Publius”
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... It’s inevitable that everyone ... member, close friend, or animal pass away, death lives among us. It is your ... Coming from a family of 11 children, author T Sky understands that she may ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing ... dentists to make complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need ... survey with 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Novus’ TIGR® Matrix Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in the US ... is a long-term resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce soft tissue ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... be of critical importance to the medical schools of the future. To reach ... healthcare suite at the 2015 ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... a leading provider of enterprise Time and Attendance/Workforce Management cloud-based solutions, announced ... Microsoft Partner Program with competencies in the Application Development, demonstrating a “best-in-class” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)...  Kevin Smith has been appointed Chief Commercial ... in wireless monitoring of vital signs.  As CCO ... Mr. Smith will be responsible for the development ... will also directly oversee partnering with US hospitals ... SensiumVitals, the first early warning detection device to ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... LAKE, N.J. and SAN DIEGO ... and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ) today ... has accepted for filing the New Drug Application (NDA) ... the extended release formulation will offer patients a chronic ... ® ) is currently approved as an ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 iCAD, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... its latest solutions for advanced image analysis and ... at the Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) ... from November 29 to December 4, 2015. ... iReveal®, an automated breast density assessment solution, PowerLook® ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: