Research reveals why marijuana can cause schizophrenia

A recent study conducted by CSIC, Spain, in collaboration with the Cajal Institute, found evidence on because cannabinoids regulate the activation of certain nerve regions of the brain.

Likewise, disorganized cannabis use can deactivate a mechanism more intensely than necessary, causing certain mental disorders, such as psychosis or schizophrenia.

Marijuana and Schizophrenia: New Evidence for Their Relationship, New CSIC Study Finds

If certain changes in the way neurotransmitters work (such as dopamine or glutamate) are occurring in certain areas of the brain, they give rise to the manifestation of different pathological behaviors such as schizophrenia. There are several genetic factors that increase the vulnerability of some individuals to this pathology. However, environmental factors and pernicious habits like marijuana or other substances can trigger symptoms to accelerate or increase their intensity.

Research on possible genetic and epigenetic characteristics has shown that the alteration of the nervous system is not the main risk factor for the onset of schizophrenia, but that the cause would be a malfunction of the NMDAR receptor, Responsible for neuronal plasticity and memory. For this reason, in the absence of sufficient glutamate to counteract the effects of the drug, dopamine increases its effect, which leads to a greater predisposition to psychosis and schizophrenia.

The role of cannabis in schizophrenia

Primarily, the cannabionoid system of our neural chemistry is positive, as it regulates the binding of glutamate to its NMDAR receptor and enables certain neurological processes such as learning or memory. Cannabinoids deactivate this receptor, and in this way physiological stability is maintained throughout the neural system.

However, the system is weak and the stability is easily compromised. the exogenous cannabinoidsThat is, those who produce the use and abuse of marijuana significantly increase the inhibition of the NMDAR receptor of the neurotransmitter glutamate, allowing a much greater effect, exacerbating the effect of dopamine and can cause psychosis.

The brain, in this situation, tries to prevent this effect from occurring, and certain mechanisms of release of NMDAR receptors are activated.But this reaction can turn off the neural system, causing a vulnerability that could trigger schizophrenia.

Experts speak

Javier Garzón Nen, One of the researchers explains:

“Marijuana abuse produces an imbalance between arousal (NMDAR) and inhibition (clean or endogenous cannabinoids). This eventually upsets the balance in favor of inhibition, and therefore generates greater activity in systems downregulated by NMDAR, such as the dopaminergic system. “

Several scientists from CSIC have pointed out that the abuse of inhaled marijuana use can produce transient psychosis. But in case the bad habit is not eliminated, the deterioration of the central nervous system could be permanent. If one adds a genetic predisposition to these bad habits, the chances of developing schizophrenia increase.

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