Navigation Links
Pot Use Might Speed Onset of Psychosis: Study
Date:2/8/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking marijuana might trigger an earlier onset of psychosis, a new analysis of previously published research suggests.

Among people who developed a psychotic illness, those who had smoked pot developed the illness almost three years earlier than those who hadn't, the Australian researchers said, and they speculated that marijuana may actually cause psychosis in some patients. Their report was published online Feb. 7 and will appear in the June print issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

But Michael Rice, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, isn't convinced that smoking pot causes psychosis and said there are still several other theories that could explain the relationship.

One hypothesis is that schizophrenia may be due to an inflammation in the brain, perhaps due to a virus, and that people with pre-symptomatic schizophrenia gravitate towards pot because it has an anti-inflammatory effect, said Rice, who is also associate director of Nebraska's Behavioral Health Education Center.

"People may be naturally seeking out some substance that tries to reduce the inflammation and the inflammation itself may be related to the psychosis," he explained.

And some neurological and cognitive changes that can predict the onset of schizophrenia later can be detected as early as 6 or 7 years of age, he added.

Some 16 million people in the United States alone use marijuana regularly, and most started smoking in their teens. It is the third most widely used addictive substance after tobacco and alcohol, the study authors noted.

Earlier studies had found a link between psychosis and marijuana use, but there's been some controversy over whether the drug actually causes psychosis. Earlier studies didn't necessarily look at the timing of onset of psychosis in relation to when people had started using marijuana.

This meta-analysis (where researchers combine data from numerous related studies) looked at 83 peer-reviewed articles involving almost 8,200 individuals who had used marijuana or other drugs and almost 14,400 individuals who had not.

People who smoked pot developed psychosis 2.7 years earlier than people with psychosis who did not smoke pot.

Study author Dr. Matthew Large, a senior staff psychiatrist at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, said, "Heavy cannabis use starting at a young age carries a very much greater risk than modest use as an adult."

In general, people who used illicit drugs developed their psychosis two years earlier than those who didn't. Alcohol use didn't seem to speed the onset of psychosis.

According to Large, about one in 20 people who start using marijuana while in junior high school (early teens) will develop psychosis, while only one in 50 people who use as adults will.

"Given the right genetics, if you smoke pot, it will trigger illness," Rice said. Still, he cautioned that the picture is more complicated than that.

"Schizophrenia is not a single disease. It's 25 to 30 illnesses with similar features, which makes it difficult to come to a single conclusion," he said. "Schizophrenia is the cancer of mental illness."

Another expert agreed.

"Folks in the field appreciate that schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are really a wide range of various etiologic manifestations," explained Dr. Kathryn Kotrla, associate dean at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Round Rock. "We don't think that every individual labeled with a psychotic disorder arises from the same cause."

"If there's a plateau and a cliff, when you fall off the cliff, you get labeled as having schizophrenia but there are many steps up to that cliff and each step a risk factor," she said. "We need to think about cannabis as another potential risk factor, another step towards the cliff."

Nevertheless, the study's authors emphasized a need for public health messages dissuading people -- especially young people -- from using pot.

"The challenge is to get the message to those most at risk, who are in the junior high range," Rice added.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on marijuana.

SOURCES: Matthew Large, M.B.B.S., senior staff psychiatrist, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia; Kathryn Kotrla, M.D., associate dean, Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Round Rock, Tex; Michael Rice, Ph.D., psychiatric nurse practitioner, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, and associate director, Nebraska Behavioral Health Education Center; Feb. 7, 2011, Archives of General Psychiatry, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Herpes Drug Might Also Slow HIV Progression
2. Bonding Hormone Might Help Some With Autism
3. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Bilingualism Might Begin in the Womb
5. Teens Might Exercise More If They Think Its Fun
6. Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
7. Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
8. What it might take to unravel the lean mean machine that is cancer
9. Increasing neurogenesis might prevent drug addiction and relapse
10. Kids Peanut Allergies Might Be Tamed: Study
11. Blood Test Might Sort Out Milk Allergies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Pot Use Might Speed Onset of Psychosis: Study
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... STAT courier is ... be a convenient service for Texas, they are expanding their presence in Dallas. One ... hiring spree that will bring new jobs to the Dallas and Forth Worth market. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... and financial planning services from offices headquartered in Little Rock, has initiated a ... , According to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, Arkansas ranks first ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... , ... The Compretta Insurance Agency, a family owned insurance and financial consultation ... County area, is announcing the launch of a charity effort aimed at raising funds ... Pantry has worked for more than 30 years to meet the food needs of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... "Today, ... the most comprehensive mental health systems reform legislation in more than fifty years. ... and the commitment of our elected officials to improving mental health services and ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 07, 2016 , ... OC87 Recovery Diaries (oc87recoverydiaries.com) recounts the ... a unique, personal perspective through animation. , That woman is Sheri Heller, ... her private psychotherapy practice. Sheri’s mother, Pearl, lived with schizophrenia. , By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016 Global Cervical Dysplasia Market: Scope ... cervical dysplasia market analyzes the current and future ... elaborate executive summary, including a market snapshot that ... The research is a combination of primary ... of our research efforts along with information collected ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... , , The ... growing at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 ... cancer and rapidly increasing geriatric population across the globe are the primary ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Palatin Technologies, Inc. ("Palatin") ... on a previously disclosed underwritten public offering of ... acted as sole book-running manager, Roth Capital Partners ... acted as co-manager for the offering. ... in net proceeds, allowing us to continue advancing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: