Adolescents beware: use of marijuana may permanently harm your brain

Adolescents need to pay heed; there is something that you did not know. Regular use of marijuana in adolescence can permanently impair your brain function and cognition, as stated by U.S. researchers.
Regular use of marijuana in adolescence might also increase the risk of developing serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, said senior author Asaf Keller, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Keller also stated, “Over the past 20 years, there has been a major controversy about the long-term effects of marijuana, with some evidence that use in adolescence could be damaging”.
According to the previous research it has been noticed that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 were at great risk of permanent cognitive deficits, and had a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.

Cortical oscillations patterns of the activity of neurons were examined in the brain of mice, by study co-author Sarah Page Haughwout, a research technician in Keller’s laboratory.

A recent study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, has found that cortical oscillations and the ability to perform cognitive behavioural tasks remains normal among the adult mice, which indicates that it was only exposure to marijuana during the critical period of adolescence that impaired cognition through this mechanism.

“We looked at the different regions of the brain,” stated Keller. “The back region of the brain develops first, and the frontal parts of the brain develop later during the adolescence period. We found that the frontal cortex gets much more affected by the drugs during adolescence than in lateral stage of life. This is the area of the brain which controls executive functions such as ‘planning’ and impulse control. It is also the area that gets most affected in schizophrenia.”