Monday, August 3, 2009
Mice Should Not Smoke Weed
Marijuana Proven to Affect Memory (In Mice)
August 3, 2009 -- Researchers said they had pinpointed the biochemical pathway by which cannabis causes memory loss in mice.
The discovery could help open the way to drugs that have marijuana's desired pain-killing properties but without its amnesic side effects, according to the paper, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
It has long been known that cannabis produces memory loss by acting on the hippocampus, the region in the brain that governs most of our cognitive functions.
But whether that impact was long-term or lasted only during the drug's use, as well as how the drug acted biochemically, has been intensely debated.
Rafael Maldonado and and Andres Ozaita at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona believe they can help answer both questions.
The scientists first created a new measure of cognitive impairment so that they could easily assess the impact of cannabis use on memory in normal mice.