Heavy and Chronic Cannabis Addiction does not Impact Motor Function: BOLD-fMRI Study

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2022 May 16. doi: 10.2174/1574886317666220516103501. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the impact of heavy and chronic cannabis use on brain potential functional control, reorganization, and plasticity in the cortical area.

Methods: 23 cannabis users were convened in 3 user's groups. The first group included 11 volunteers with an average of 15 joins/day; the second group included 6 volunteers with an average of 1.5 joins/day; the third group included 6 volunteers with an average of 2.8 joins/week. Besides, a 6 healthy volunteers (control group). All healthy and cannabis users underwent identical brain BOLD-fMRI assessment of the motor function. Besides, neuropsychological and full biological assessments were achieved.

Results: BOLD-fMRI maps of motor areas were obtained, including quantitative evaluation of the activations in the motor area. Besides, statistical analysis of various groups was achieved.

Conclusion: Chronic cannabis addiction of varying use strength by groups of heavy, moderate, low dose, and zero doses are shown to have systematically equivalent effects on the control of brain motor function. Indeed, the BOLD-fMRI shows a remarkable sensitivity to minimal brain plasticity and reorganization of the functional motor control of the studied cortical area, and such varionation was not shown. Specific elucidation of the cannabis effect mechanisms in this unique function should clarify further protective pharmacological effects. This might illuminate the use of neuronal resources to prepare processes for pharmacological use and pharmaceutical forms. This suggests exploring any potential cannabis pharmaceutical form in diseases involving motor impairments.

Keywords: BOLD-fMRI; Cannabis Addiction; Chronic; Heavy; motor Function; motor impairments.