Archive for December, 2009

Marijuana Use by Teens More Detrimental than Previously Thought

Monday, December 28th, 2009

New research from the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Qc. suggests that the effect of daily cannabis use on the teenage brain is worse than previously thought. Moreover, the long-term effects appear irreversible.

Marijuana, the most used illicit drug, has long been considered a ‘soft’ drug—minimally damaging in comparison to most other, ‘hard’, drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Marijuana’s addictive properties have also been long argued.

However, according to researchers at the McGill University Health Centre, daily cannabis use leads to depression and anxiety, as it impacts both serotonin and norepinephrine—the chemical compounds that help control mood and anxiety in the brain.

Researchers observed 18 teenage rats as they were exposed to cannabis. The rats showed decreased levels of serotonin, affecting mood, and higher levels of norepinephrine, making them more susceptible to long-term stress (anxiety).… Read the rest »

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 25th, 2009
Image courtesy of DryIconsRead the rest »

Alcohol Addiction Found in Fruit Flies

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

According to a new study, fruit flies show both desperation and relapse when exposed to alcohol for a length of time.

Researchers say their study may shed light on the genetic roots of alcohol addiction.

Fruit flies, it may seem strange, are often used for genetic studies due both to their rapid reproductive rate, as well as their chemical pathways similar to humans. Previously, fruit flies were used for intoxication and tolerance studies.

This new study out of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) looked specifically at addiction, with the hope of later working “out the genes underlying addiction-like behaviours,” co-author Anita Devineni told National Geographic News.

For the first experiment, fruit flies were presented with two different liquids—one containing ethanol (a form of alcohol) and the other without.… Read the rest »