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Cannabis Can be Harmful, Study Shows

Cannabis Can be Harmful, Study ShowsResearchers have clarified critical mechanisms involved with the formation of neural circuits in the brain. This organization also discovered that delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance also found in hashish or cannabis, causes disruption of neural circuits inside the cortex. Those consequences provide an explanation for why cannabis may be dangerous and have capacity to find application in the purposeful restoration of brain damage and in instances of dementia.

Neural interest is thought to play a vital function inside the formation of neural circuits. However, we still do no longer realize what kind of neural activities are concerned in this formation procedure. This manner is mainly complex in projections from the thalamus to the cortex, of which thus far we knew that as these projections expand, unnecessary projections are removed, thereby leaving the most effective projections. A group of researchers led by Fumitaka Kimura, associate professor at the Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, has now clarified the involvement of numerous mechanisms within the formation of this neural circuit. The researchers also found scientific proof that cannabis intake causing the trimming of neural connections, leading to a breakdown of neural circuits.

Harmful Cannabis

In this study, the researchers determined that in a different section of the cortex, the rule (Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity: STDP) by using synaptic electricity (a purposeful measure of connections) between neurons become determined all at once changed at a positive point in improvement. Based on this finding, the group tested whether or not a similar STDP change occurred in the projection from the thalamus and the cortex as well. They determined that to begin with, the synapses were strengthened due to the synchronized activities of the pre- (thalamic) and post- (cortical) synaptic neurons. But after the projections had spread widely, the synchronized activities weakened all but a few synapses, thereby doing away with projections to allow more systematic ones. As the synapses are weakened, endogenous cannabinoid is released from nerve cells via those synchronized activities, leading to a regression of unnecessary neuron projections. The researchers also showed that such regression while cannabinoid is taken in externally.

Those findings might have an effect on future research targeted on advancing our understanding of the mechanisms involved within the formation of neural circuits and feature the capability to cause the development of recent treatment options to enhance recuperation from brain damage and dementia. Further, the findings provide medical evidence for the detrimental outcomes of cannabis intake on brain improvement and consequently may also help to lower abuse of marijuana.

This study was featured within the digital version of the Journal of Neuroscience on June 29, 2016.