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Scripps research team wins $4M grant to study effects of chronic marijuana use
Date:3/14/2008

ll pool the talent of several laboratories to learn more about addiction to cannabis and the consequences of withdrawal. In addition to Mason, who holds the Pearson Family Chair at Scripps Research, the center's principal investigators will include Scripps Research Associate Professor Michael Taffe, Scripps Research Associate Professor Loren Parsons, and University of California, San Diego, Associate Professor Susan Tapert.

The researchers and their teams will draw on complementary expertise in tissue analysis, imaging, animal models, and human clinical trials to understand the condition of marijuana addiction from a variety of perspectives. Techniques will include neuropsychological measures, biochemical analyses, and functional MRI.

Some of the center's initial projects will address questions such as the exact nature and duration of cognitive impairment caused by marijuana use; the role of development (for example, adolescence vs. young adulthood) on susceptibility to addiction; the effects of cannabis on the central nervous system; and the characteristics of withdrawal after long-term use.

The center will also contain a training component to mentor the next generation of researchers in the field.

"It's time we shed the light of science onto the topic of marijuana addiction," Masons says. "There is a lot we need to know in order to develop effective treatments.

If you are interested in enrolling as a subject for the center's studies, call 858-784-7867.


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Contact: Keith Mckeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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