Latest Mental Health News
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 (HealthDay News)
Smoking pot appears to affect teens’ brain development, altering it in ways that could diminish their reasoning, decision-making and memory skills as they age, a new study reports.
Brain scans of about 800 teenagers found that those who started smoking pot tended to have increased thinning of the cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for thought, perception and language.
This thinning particularly affected brain regions associated with working memory, inhibition, attention and emotional regulation, said lead researcher Matthew Albaugh, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Vermont Medical Center, in Burlington.
By age 19, teens who used pot already were showing signs of attentional impulsivity, an inability to stay focused without distraction, he said.
“Cannabis is having an effect on neuromaturation, in particular in some prefrontal