Cannabis shoppers exhibit greater susceptibility to become able to false memories



A new study published in the American journal with the highest impact factor in world-wide, Molecular Psychiatry, reveals that consumers of cannabis are more prone to experiencing memories that are false.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Human Neuropsychopharmacology group at the Biomedical Research Institute of Hospital de Sant Pau and from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in collaboration with the Brain Cognition and Plasticity group of the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL - University of Barcelona). Among the known effects of have this drug is the recollection problems it can cause. Continual consumers reveal more problems in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) relation to the general populace in recollections that are regaining and retaining new information. The brand new study also shows the long-term use of cannabis causes distortions in memory, which makes it simpler for fanciful or fictitious memories to appear.

On occasions, the brain can recall things which never occurred. Our memory consists of a malleable procedure that is created increasingly and so is subject to distortions or false memories. These memory "mistakes" are seen more often in several neurological and psychiatric disorders, but may also be detected in the healthy population, and become more common as we age. One of the most common false memories we have are from our childhood which we believe to remember as the folks around us have clarified them to us over and over again of scenarios. Maintaining an acceptable control over the "veracity" of our memories is a complex cognitive task which enables us to have our own sense of reality as well as shapes our behaviour, based on previous experiences.

In the study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Sant Pau and Bellvitge compared a group of chronic consumers of cannabis to a healthy control group on learning a series of words, while they worked. After a few minutes they were once again shown the first words, together with new words which were either semantically related or unrelated. All participants were requested to identify the words belonging to the original list. Cannabis consumers believed to have seen the semantically connected new words to a degree that was higher than participants in the control group. Researchers found that cannabis consumers revealed a lower activation in areas of the brain related to memory procedures and to the overall control of cognitive resources, by using magnetic resonance imaging.

The study found recollection deficiencies regardless of the fact that participants had stopped have cannabis before participating in the analysis. Although they had not have the drug in a month, the more cannabis had been used by the patient throughout their life, vital to storing memories, the lower the level of activity in the hippocampus.

The outcomes show that cannabis consumers are somewhat more vulnerable to enduring memory distortions weeks after not have the drug. This implies that cannabis has a prolonged effect on the brain mechanisms which allow us to differentiate between fantastic and actual events. These recollection mistakes can cause problems because of the effects the testimonies of witnesses as well as their casualties can have, for instance, in legal cases. However, from a clinical viewpoint, the results point to the fact that a chronic utilization of cannabis could worsen issues with age-associated memory loss.