The Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study: Pathways to Cannabis Use, Abuse, and Dependence project-current status, preliminary results, and future directions

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2013 Feb;16(1):21-33. doi: 10.1017/thg.2012.111. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


We describe the data being collected from the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study in Australia as part of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded project, Pathways to Cannabis Use, Abuse and Dependence. The history, recruitment, assessment, and retention of twin families in this project are described in detail, along with preliminary findings and plans for future research. The goal of this NIDA project is to make a significant contribution to the discovery of quantitative trait loci influencing cannabis use disorders. Although the focus is cannabis use, abuse, and dependence in young adults, measures of comorbid illicit drug use disorders are also being collected. In addition, a variety of internalizing and externalizing disorders are being assessed, funded by support from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. Because these same twins have participated in numerous twin studies since 1992, future plans will include linking different phenotypes to investigate relationships between drug use, psychiatric disorders, and psychological phenotypes within cross-sectional and longitudinal or developmental frameworks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Diseases in Twins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / genetics*
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (U.S.)
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / genetics*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult