Thursday, October 13, 2005

Potheads have more brain power?

Many drugs, including heroin, cocaine and alcohol, block the growth of cells in the hippocampus region of the brain. It is thought that the growth of these cells may improve memory and combat depression. Nature reports on a recent study that found that cannabis-like chemicals can actually stimulate hippocampal cell growth. This is similar to the effect of some antidepressants.
"I think it's a very exciting study," says Amelia Eisch, an addiction researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "It makes marijuana look more like an antidepressant and less like a drug of abuse."
More study is needed to show that the THC found in marijuana has the same effect as the tested compound, and to understand the actual role the growth of these cells plays in mood and memory.

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