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Vulnerability markers in the association between cannabis and schizophrenia

Grant


Scheme


  • Project Grant

Abstract


  • Increasing the knowledge base concerning risk factors for the development of schizophrenia is urgently needed. Cannabis use is one such risk factor. Heavy cannabis use increases the risk of psychotic symptoms and cannabis is now considered a component cause of schizophrenia1,RM384,RM460. Recent evidence suggests that vulnerability to schizophrenia development following cannabis use may be moderated by a functional polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene involved in dopamine metabolismRM469, and that those with the vulnerable genotype are more sensitive to the cognitive and psychogenic effects of acute administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis)2. However, multiple variations within multiple genes (rather than single genetic polymorphisms) together with other predisposing factors may interact with cannabis to increase the risk of psychosisRM363. Further research on these higher-order interactions is needed to better understand the biological pathways by which cannabis use in some individuals may cause psychosis in the short- and long-term. Interestingly, cannabidiol (CBD), another constituent of the cannabis plant, has been claimed to possess antipsychotic properties3-8.

Date/time Interval


  • 2011

Sponsor Award Id


  • APP1007593

Local Award Id


  • 11877

Scheme


  • Project Grant

Abstract


  • Increasing the knowledge base concerning risk factors for the development of schizophrenia is urgently needed. Cannabis use is one such risk factor. Heavy cannabis use increases the risk of psychotic symptoms and cannabis is now considered a component cause of schizophrenia1,RM384,RM460. Recent evidence suggests that vulnerability to schizophrenia development following cannabis use may be moderated by a functional polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene involved in dopamine metabolismRM469, and that those with the vulnerable genotype are more sensitive to the cognitive and psychogenic effects of acute administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis)2. However, multiple variations within multiple genes (rather than single genetic polymorphisms) together with other predisposing factors may interact with cannabis to increase the risk of psychosisRM363. Further research on these higher-order interactions is needed to better understand the biological pathways by which cannabis use in some individuals may cause psychosis in the short- and long-term. Interestingly, cannabidiol (CBD), another constituent of the cannabis plant, has been claimed to possess antipsychotic properties3-8.

Date/time Interval


  • 2011

Sponsor Award Id


  • APP1007593

Local Award Id


  • 11877