Teen marijuana users have poorer long-term memory in adulthood

http://www.psypost.org/2015/03/teen-marijuana-users-have-poorer-long-term-memory-in-adulthood-32476

Teens who were heavy marijuana users – smoking it daily for about three years — had an abnormally shaped hippocampus and performed poorly on long-term memory tasks, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study…

The study is among the first to say the hippocampus is shaped differently in heavy marijuana smokers and the different looking shape is directly related to poor long-term memory performance. Previous studies of cannabis users have shown either the oddly shaped hippocampus or poor long-term memory but none have linked them…

Did all of these teens smoke the exact same bud?  With the exact same THC and CBD levels? Did they all smoke joints or did some of them vape or use bongs?  How many joints did each user smoke per day?  One or ten?

Was there a lower suicide rate in the marijuana users versus a control group?  A lower rate of depression and anxiety?  What about weight and diabetes?

And were there other changes seen in the brains of these marijuana users?  Were other areas of their brains… bigger?  Were there more neurons, more connections, compared to a control group of non-users?  Did marijuana users show more empathy in their daily lives?  Did they have better sex?  And were they more responsible when they had sex?

I wonder what kind of results would be found in a group of teens who were heavy drinkers — drinking daily for about three years.  Or heavy cigarette smokers — smoking a pack a day for three years.  And I wonder what you would find if you compared these three groups — would the drinking group have more car accidents?

“Both our recent studies link the chronic use of marijuana during adolescence to these differences in the shape of brain regions that are critical to memory and that appear to last for at least a few years after people stop using it,” said lead study author Matthew Smith, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine…

Everybody knows how hard ya’ll are trying to show that marijuana is bad.  And the thing is, no one is suggesting that teens chronically use any drug — including bud.

Previous research by the same Northwestern team showed poor short-term and working memory performance and abnormal shapes of brain structures in the sub-cortex including the striatum, globus pallidus and thalamus…

Yes, but what, exactly, does that mean?  Did the teens in the study turn out to be… criminals? Violent?  Did they forget how to use their iPhones?

Because the study results examined one point in time, a longitudinal study is needed to definitively show if marijuana is responsible for the observed differences in the brain and memory impairment, Smith said.

“It is possible that the abnormal brain structures reveal a pre-existing vulnerability to marijuana abuse,” Smith said. “But evidence that the longer the participants were abusing marijuana, the greater the differences in hippocampus shape suggests marijuana may be the cause.”

Keep trying, ant-drug people.  After all, it’s nice to have a job, and most of your funding is paid for by taxpayers.  (Free money!)

British report challenges received wisdom about psychosis and schizophrenia

http://www.psypost.org/2015/03/british-psychological-society-report-challenges-received-wisdom-about-psychosis-and-schizophrenia-32655

Rt Hon Norman Lamb, UK Minister of State for Care and Support, said: “I strongly welcome the publication of this report. The Government is committed to the provision of psychological therapies, and has recently announced that, for the first time, maximum waiting times will be introduced for NHS mental health services, including for Early Intervention in Psychosis…