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. 2010 Mar 4;1317:297-304.
doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.12.069. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Gyrification Brain Abnormalities Associated With Adolescence and Early-Adulthood Cannabis Use

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Gyrification Brain Abnormalities Associated With Adolescence and Early-Adulthood Cannabis Use

Ignacio Mata et al. Brain Res. .

Abstract

Although cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, the long-term effect of its use in the brain remains controversial. In order to determine whether adolescence and early-adulthood cannabis use is associated with gross volumetric and gyrification abnormalities in the brain, we set up a cross-sectional study using structural magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of general population subjects. Thirty cannabis-using subjects (mean age, 25.7 years; mean duration of regular use, 8.4 years, range: 3-21) with no history of polydrug use or neurologic/mental disorder and 44 non-using control subjects (mean age, 25.8 years) were included. Cannabis users showed bilaterally decreased concavity of the sulci and thinner sulci in the right frontal lobe. Among non-users, age was significantly correlated with decreased gyrification (i.e., less concave sulci and more convexe gyri) and decreased cortical thickness, supporting the notion of age-related gyrification changes. However, among cannabis users gyrification indices did not show significant dependency on age, age of regular cannabis use initiation, or cumulative exposure to cannabis. These results suggest that cannabis use in adolescence and early-adulthood might involve a premature alteration in cortical gyrification similar to what is normally observed at a later age, probably through disruption of normal neurodevelopment.

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