Marijuana caused more damage to teens' brains than alcohol, study finds Marijuana caused more damage to teens' brains than alcohol
Joel Shannon 10.6.18
Marijuana use may pose a greater risk to the developing brains of teenagers than alcohol consumption, according to a new study this week. The analysis, published Wed in the Am J of Psychiatry, found that cannabis had greater short & long-term consequences than alcohol on 4 key components of teens' memory, finding greatly surprised researchers. "We initially suspected alcohol would have a bigger effect," Patricia Conrod, lead author & Prof of Psychiatry at U Montreal told USA TODAY
Researchers looked at 4 cognitive effects: Problem solving, long-term memory, short-term memory manipulation & the ability to stop a habitual behavior when needed. Marijuana had "significant" negative effects on all 4, while the study could not tie alcohol to negative effects, Conrod said. However, alcohol's effects may be greater as teens drink more later in life, Conrod said. Authors examined nearly 4000 students in the Montreal region over 4 years, starting when the average participant was about 13 years old. The students took yearly memory tests & self-reported their alcohol & marijuana use. Those reports were kept confidential "unless such info indicated imminent risk of harm," authors wrote. By the 4th year, 75% of the students had consumed alcohol at least occasionally, while only 30% of subjects had used marijuana. Study observed more daily marijuana users than alcohol users, Conrod said.
Study found some of marijuana's negative effects were short-term, while others were lasting. A particularly troubling finding: Young cannabis users may cause long-term damage to a brain function associated with substance abuse. When studying response inhibition—that's an individual's ability to change their actions to help meet a goal—researchers found that teens using marijuana caused long-term damage to their brains. Conrod said that finding may help explain a previously "perplexing" phenomenon: Young cannabis users have been shown to be at a greater risk for addiction later in life.
I have seen the lasting debilitating effects of head trauma, all trauma actually, particularly increasing the experience of emotional dysregulation that would manifest as anxiety, depression, dissociation and dementia. The research reported in the study below is yet another pointer to the unavoidable reality of how injury to the body, especially the brain, alters cognitive and emotional responsiveness. We also know that neurofeedback and photobiomodulation (light therapy) can positively modify abnormal brain activity.
Check out this Hackspirit article about breathing, nothing is really more important than getting yourself back to normal respiration. This includes not only the rate or breaths/minute but also the pattern, ie., through your nose and not your mouth, maintaining 6 breaths a minute and getting your entire body involved so you can fully relax into your breath as source of emotional and physical nourishment.
My approach to counseling and therapy centers on how we breath and its effect on our mental, emotional and energetic state.
This paper makes the point that near infrared light therapy applied across the skull surface has produced significant improvements in both physical and cognitive functioning. Quietmind is now preparing several clinical trials for people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
This is an important video about an NHL player who sought help for his post concussion symptoms and his journey of recovery. So many people need to become more aware of the risks associated with hockey and football regarding brain trauma. Neurofeedback and photobiomodulation are key components of our treatment approach and we collaborate with Brain Plasticity Centers to augment patient recovery by combining our approaches where they are needed.
This is a well developed presentation on photobiomodulation by Lew Lim, PhD the CEO of Vielight Inc. with whom we have been affiliated in conducting clinical trials and promoting the integration of PBM and neurofeedback training for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Please contact us at 610-940-0488 for information on clinical trials employing the Vielight Neuro technology.
Place this link in a separate window to obtain the paper: https://divcomplatform.s3.amazonaws.com/www.integrativepractitioner.com/images/11859627f5f31270b070131a585882cc.pdf
This link is to a 4 minute video that outlines the current state of knowledge about the causes and direction of research designed to help develop effective treatment for dementia. It presents the neurophysiological, biochemical, genetic, and lifestyle factors that influence the emergence and progression of the disease. I was left wondering as I often am in these situations, why are they leaving out the fact that the neuronal equation has an electrical component that can be directly modified without the need for drugs or other more invasive measures being required. I'm referring to the use of near infrared light stimulation (photobiomodulation) and behavioral conditioning techniques (biofeedback) or neurofeedback when modifying brainwave activity.
Our clinical work with patients led to developing a combined treatment protocol that has shown to be effective in slowing and in some circumstances there has been a reversal of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The mechanism of actioin appears to be the improving of cortical perfusion or blood flow and the reduction of brain inflammation due to the incrased production of ATP and other biochemical changes that prevent neuronal survival, repair, and regeneration.
Clinical trials on the use of photobiomodulation are demonstrating the effectiveness of light to remediate symptoms of both Parkinson's and dementia.
Here we see what are some of the more powerful models for humane and effective treatment of dementia. Our hope is to add to these models the use of photobiomodulation and neurofeedback as well as other types of noninvasive and non-drug treatment. Its clear that these facilities are providing an intimate and critically relevant resource that feels like family care for people with dementia.
Our treatment model can help slow or even stop the progression of decline and we now are seeing a reversal of symptoms in some cases. Treatment is twice daily for 5 minutes each and neurofeedback is for 15-20 minutes 3x a week or more. We combine this with the nutritional and advanced functional medical care, e.g., the Bredesen protocol.
Our clinical trials are now showing that the use neurofeedback and combining it with photobiomodulation will likely be a useful treatment addition to the currently available modalities.
Nutritional Psychiatry's time has arrived
The coming of individualized precision medicine and a focus on sustaining wellness is making for an entirely new (and very old) way of thinking about health. I say very old since many of the ancient healing traditions are being recast in the context of our growing insights into the root causes of systemic forms of disease and impairment. Our work at Quietmind has been focused on creating a set of tools and techniques that will allow people to heal themselves and support optimal health in the most efficient and natural ways possible, e.g., proper breathing, brainwave normalization, emotional expression and photobiomodulation. I'll expand on each of these now to frame my way of working with people to resolve current and old issues they may be carrying around since early childhood or earlier.
Proper respiration has a number of dimensions including breathing rate, depth, ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide and completeness. Paul Lehrer's work on respiratory sinus arrythmia showed that we harmonize our other bodily systems when we maintain 6 breaths a minute (BPM) with inhale/exhale =1 breath. Research sponsored by Palo Alto Health Systems with the Freespira capnometry based respiration training program shows that maintaining 40mm of O2/CO2 with the breathing rate at 6PBM can significantly altern cognitive and emotional functioning, e.g., elimination of panic symptoms after only 30 days of home-based respiration training. Our clients are showing rapid and lasting improvement of their anxiety and panic and PTSD symptoms using this method.
Neurofeedback training offers the opportunity to gain a sense of control of our most basic responses at the level of our central nervous system. Finding new ways of responding to stimulation is not something we do entirely consciously, rather it is a process of providing the brain with information about its own activity that then allows our brain to recalibrate the level of response any particular stimulus requires. This is the core of neuromodulation training, the establishment of more efficient algorithms for how much energy needst to be expended in response to a given stimulus. The more we optimize our capacity for adaptive response we are transforming ourselves in ways that will greatly expand our consciousness and promote optimal health and wellbeing.
We include photobiomodulation (near infrared light therapy) for those people who have suffered any form of brain trauma, depression, anxiety and more and more, infection with Lyme and other tick born illness. The light therapy helps to remediate the tissue-level damage caused by the disease process that depletes oxygen or increase inflammation.
Of course, we must include psychological health here and this requires that we have access to the full range of our feelings and the ability to express them effectively. The work here starts with awareness of feelings and their historical and relational roots. We then work to undo our conscious and unconscious conflicts surrounding the ful and gratifying expression of our emotions and gain a deeper experience of ourselves and our capacity to connect with others.