Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Brain Scans Suggest Marijuana May Squelch Motivation

Brain Scans Suggest Marijuana May Squelch Motivation

07/02/13

TUESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Can chronic pot smoking really turn people into slackers?

According to a small brain-scan study, long-term marijuana use may indeed reduce people's motivation levels.

The findings could explain why some marijuana users lack the drive to work or pursue their previous interests, said the researchers at Imperial College London.

The researchers used PET brain imaging to assess dopamine production in the brains of 19 regular marijuana users and 19 non-users. Dopamine is a chemical linked to motivation. The brain scans showed that the regular marijuana users tended to produce less dopamine.

The marijuana users in the study had their first experience with the drug between the ages of 12 and 18. Those who started using the drug at an earlier age tended to have lower dopamine levels, as did those who were heavier users.

The researchers said these findings -- published recently in the journal Biological Psychiatry-- may be the cause of the differences in dopamine levels.

The lowest dopamine levels were seen in people who met diagnostic criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence. This suggests that measuring dopamine levels could provide a marker of a person's level of addiction to marijuana, the study authors said.

"[The findings] tie in with previous research on addiction, which has found that substance abusers -- people who are dependent on cocaine or amphetamine, for example -- have altered dopamine systems," study leader Dr. Michael Bloomfield said in an Imperial College London news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about marijuana.

Health NewsCopyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >