Researchers Have Figured Out Why Marijuana Causes Memory Problems
Nov 25, 2013 18:40
A new study is suggesting that over the counter painkillers could prevent the side effects of marijuana use - learning problems and memory loss. But what causes it? Researchers may have figured it out.
In a study published in the journal Cell, researchers say they have pinpointed the molecular pathways responsible for marijuana-induced memory problems.
You get high from marijuana because of a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. It works by interacting with receptors on brain cells called cannabinoid receptors. They are concentrated in many different parts of the brain and their ubiquity is both good and bad.
THC binds with receptors that are responsible for regulating relaxation, relieving pain or suppressing nausea. But there are also cannabinoid receptors located in the region of the brain involved in learning and memory called hippocampus. When it binds with receptors in the hippocampus, it alters the way information is processed and how memories are formed.
The COX-2 increase in brain cells in a study, seemed to turn down memory making abilities by decreasing the cell's ability to make connections with other brain cells. When stopped, the researchers were able to restore the brain cells ability to connect with other cells, suggesting that THC is the cause of this disconnect.
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