Marijuana use is a big topic in the US, with some states already legalizing it. However, a recent study shows users might need to be more cautious.
Hippocampus is a part of the brain; which deals with the formation of long-term memories, and in diseases like Alzheimer's, the hippocampus is one of the first regions that gets damaged. A new study shows that using marijuana regularly could result to abnormally low blood flow in the brain's right hippocampus region.
Marijuana Use Disrupts Memory Formation
Researchers from Dr. Daniel Amen's clinic looked at database of 26,268 patients from 1995-2015, with complex treatment-resistant issues from states California, Virginia, Georgia, Washington and New York. Out of all the participants, 1,000 were marijuana users. Using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), the researchers analyzed the blood flow of the brain, and they discovered a strong difference between both groups.
"The most predictive region distinguishing marijuana users from healthy controls, the hippocampus, is a key target of Alzheimer's disease pathology. This study raises the possibility of deleterious brain effects of marijuana use," the research said.
Hippocampus Is The Most Affected Region, Which Could Cause Alzheimer's
Co-author of the study, Elisabeth Jorandby, M.D said: "As a physician who routinely sees marijuana users, what struck me was not only the global reduction in blood flow in the marijuana users brains , but that the hippocampus was the most affected region due to its role in memory and Alzheimer's disease. Our research has proven that marijuana users have lower cerebral blood flow than non-users. Second, the most predictive region separating these two groups is low blood flow in the hippocampus on concentration brain SPECT imaging. This work suggests that marijuana use has damaging influences in the brain - particularly regions important in memory and learning and known to be affected by Alzheimer's."
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