News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Cannabis-pyschosis link – it’s in the genes

29 April 2005

Cannabis-pyschosis link – it’s in the genes

A gene linking teenage cannabis use with psychotic illnesses has been identified in an international study based on data from the University of Otago’s Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study.

“What we found is those people with a particular version of this gene have almost 11 times the chance of having a diagnosis of psychosis if they used cannabis during adolescence. The strength of this association is on par with that seen for a-pack-a-day cigarette smoker and the likelihood of ending up with lung cancer,” Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study director Associate Professor Richie Poulton says.

The paper comes from an international research team from the University of Otago, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London and the University of Wisconsin and was led by Professors Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt.

The study, which will be published in the international journal Biological Psychiatry next month, focused on the COMT gene, which was chosen because it is known to play a part in the production of dopamine, a brain-signaling chemical that is abnormal in schizophrenia, Assoc Prof Poulton says.

“The findings reinforce a growing consensus that nature and nurture are not mutually exclusive forces but combine to affect behaviour and health,” he says.

“This explains why cannabis use has a devastating affect on some users but leaves most unharmed. We have suspected genetic factors are responsible for the difference but until now no gene has been identified.”

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study has tracked approximately 1000 men and women since they were born in Dunedin in 1972 and 1973, making it one of the longest and most detailed cohort studies in the world. Each participant was interviewed at 13, 15 and 18 years about cannabis use and tested to determine which type of COMT gene they had inherited and followed up at age 26 for signs of mental illness.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news