Orbitofrontal Volumes in Early Adolescence Predict Initiation of Cannabis Use: A 4-Year Longitudinal and Prospective Study
Ali Cheetham, Nicholas B Allen, Sarah Whittle, Julian G Simmons, Murat Yuecel, Dan I Lubman
BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY | ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC | Published : 2012
BACKGROUND: There is growing evidence that long-term, heavy cannabis use is associated with alterations in regional brain volumes. Although these changes are frequently attributed to the neurotoxic effects of cannabis, it is possible that some abnormalities might predate use and represent markers of vulnerability. To date, no studies have examined whether structural brain abnormalities are present before the onset of cannabis use. This study aims to determine whether adolescents who have initiated cannabis use early (i.e., before age 17 years) show premorbid structural abnormalities in the amygdala, hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. METHODS: Participants (n = ..View full abstract
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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)
The research was supported by grants from the Colonial Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (NHMRC Program Grant 350241), and the Australian Research Council (ARC) (ARC Discovery Grant DP0878136). Ali Cheetham is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. Dr. Whittle is supported by an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Yucel is supported by an NHMRC Clinical Career Development Award (ID: 10211973).