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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


MENA, Ismael et al. Effects of marihuana consumption in school children on brain functions demonstrated by means of neuropsychological tests and neuro-SPECT imaging. Salud Ment [online]. 2013, vol.36, n.5, pp.367-374. ISSN 0185-3325.

Comparative study based on 565 adolescent school children coming from four schools in the metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile. All were interviewed in order to select a sample that was stratified for sex, class and condition of consumer or non-consumer. The variables of intellectual coefficient and socioeconomical level were maintained constant. With this selection we conformed two groups: 40 consumers exclusively of marihuana and 40 non-consumers. We compared the results obtained in both groups in the neuropsychological tests while the neuroSPECT studies of consumers were compared against a normal database for the same age group. The adolescent consumers of marihuana demonstrate less cognitive capacity related to the process of learning such as attention, concentration, ranking, viso-spatial integration, immediate retention and visual memory. The differences between both groups are statistically significant. The findings of neuroSPECT demonstrate subgenual hypoperfusion bilaterally, more marked on the left side, in area 25 of Brodmann. This area controls mood. There is also frontal bilateral hypoperfusion (area 10 and area 32 of Brodmann). Area 32 is pre-anterior cingulate gyrus. Also hypoperfusion of the anterior cingulate gyrus (area 24 of Brodmann) and hypoperfusion of area 36 of Brodmann that projects over the hippocampus. Students that were consumers exclusively of marihuana demonstrate coincident abnormal findings of neuroimages and neuropsychological tests in areas of the brain related with learning and also significant differences between consumers with non-consumers in the neuropsychological tests.

Palavras-chave : Cannabis; marihuana; adolescent; SPECT; HMPAO; neuropsychological tests.

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