June 16, 2006

Research Revealing How Marijuana Affects the Brain

There is an interesting new article just published on the MIT Technology Review web site that is about a new imaging method that could show how cannabinoids affect diseases like schizophrenia.

The article states:

Scientists have long known that the brain possesses natural chemicals similar to marijuana. While little is known about their precise function in the brain, studies suggest that these compounds, known as cannabinoids, and the receptors they bind to, play a role in diseases, including schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and obesity.

Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a way to image cannabinoid receptors in living animals. The tool will help scientists figure out how these receptors are altered in drug addiction and disease, as well as helping pharmaceutical companies to design drugs that better target this system.

"This is a real breakthrough," says Richard Frank, vice president of medical affairs at GE Healthcare in Princeton, NJ. "Scientists have long believed that the cannabinoid system is involved in diseases, but they've never been able to measure the receptor in living people's brains." The new tracer acts as a receptor antagonist -- meaning it blocks the receptor but does not activate it. That's important, says Frank, because the compound has no pharmacologic effect. In other words, it doesn't make the user feel "high."

Read the full article here: Revealing How Marijuana Affects the Brain
A new imaging method could show how cannabinoids affect diseases like schizophrenia


Most kids don't realize all of the dangers and health risks associated with marijuana usage. As parents and teachers, we can ease the temptation experienced by teens by offering them:

Hugs, not Drugs

aka Dr. BLT, The Original Blog 'n' Roller

Posted by: Bruce at June 26, 2006 11:20 AM

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