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March 1, 2005

200% Higher Bipolar Risk when you use Marijuana

The BBC News reported today on a new research study out of New Zealand that highlights the greatly increased risk of mental illness associated with Marijuana use. While the study seems to focus on schizophrenia, the research literature suggests that there is a broad spectrum of mental illnesses - including bipolar disorder and depression - that are linked to marijuana use. Moreover, research is increasingly suggesting that a number of the genes involved in the development of bipolar disorder, are shared in the development of schizophrenia.

"Smoking cannabis virtually doubles the risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, researchers say. The New Zealand scientists said their study suggested this was probably due to chemical changes in the brain which resulted from smoking the drug.

The study, published in the journal Addiction, followed over 1,000 people born in 1977 for 25 years. "

The researchers stated that "cannabis may increase the chances of a person suffering psychosis by causing chemical changes to the brain."

For the Full story go to:

BBC News - Drug 'doubles mental health risk'

For the original Research go to:

Tests of causal linkages between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms

Addiction Journal

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