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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

versión impresa ISSN 1816-8949


TORALES, J et al. Cannabis use and schizophrenia development: which are the links?. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2017, vol.50, n.2, pp.95-102. ISSN 1816-8949.

Cannabis is the drug most often used by persons with schizophrenia. However, the relationship between cannabis use and schizophrenia development has not yet been fully clarified. This short communication aims to highlight some studied links between cannabis use and schizophrenia development. The authors summarize some of the main findings of several investigations done on this topic, including studies on brain white matter, brain reward circuit, hippocampal pathophysiology, brain volume, age of psychosis onset, and characteristics of cannabis use, personality traits, genetics, neurochemistry, and stress response. The authors agree with the notion that there are two most convincing hypotheses regarding the link between cannabis and schizophrenia: 1. Cannabis as a contributing cause and, 2. Shared vulnerability. The authors stress that cannabis use does not in itself cause a psychotic disorder; however, both early use and heavy use of it are more likely in individuals with a vulnerability to psychosis. The use of cannabis is arguably the most modifiable environmental risk factor for schizophrenia, so it is necessary to ensure a public health warning that cannabis use can increase the risk of psychotic disorders.

Palabras clave : cannabis; schizophrenia; psychosis; vulnerability; public health.

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