Brain imaging study of the acute effects of Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on attention and motor coordination in regular users of marijuana

Aviv Weinstein*, Orit Brickner, Hedva Lerman, Mazal Greemland, Miki Bloch, Hava Lester, Roland Chisin, Raphael Mechoulam, Rachel Bar-Hamburger, Nanette Freedman, Einat Even-Sapir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Procedure: Twelve regular users of marijuana underwent two positron emission tomography (PET) scans using [18F] Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), one while subject to the effects of 17 mg THC, the other without THC. In both sessions, a virtual reality maze task was performed during the FDG uptake period. Results: When subject to the effects of 17 mg THC, regular marijuana smokers hit the walls more often on the virtual maze task than without THC. Compared to results without THC, 17 mg THC increased brain metabolism during task performance in areas that are associated with motor coordination and attention in the middle and medial frontal cortices and anterior cingulate, and reduced metabolism in areas that are related to visual integration of motion in the occipital lobes. Conclusion: These findings suggest that in regular marijuana users, the immediate effects of marijuana may impact on cognitive-motor skills and brain mechanisms that modulate coordinated movement and driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume196
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Israeli Anti Drug Authority
National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel
Sacta Rashi Foundation

    Keywords

    • Attention
    • Marijuana
    • Motor skills
    • PET
    • THC

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