Andreasson et al89 prospectively followed up a cohort of Swedish conscripts who had been interviewed about their cannabis use at age 18 to 20 years and found an elevated relative risk (RR) for schizophrenia amongst users compared to nonusers (RR=2.4). In 2002, Zammit et al reanalyzed and extended the data,90 and found that the association between selfreported cannabis misuse and later risk of schizophrenia persisted after adjustment for other drug use and personality factors. Also in 2002, Arseneault et al presented their findings from Dunedin on a prospective association between adolescent cannabis use and later psychosis.11 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Those using
cannabis by the age of 15 years later showed more schizophrenia symptoms than controls and were four times more find more likely
to be diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder, even after psychotic symptoms at age 11 were controlled for (although the latter finding was reduced below significance Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical after adjustment). In addition to these two studies, there have now been another Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical three large-scale longitudinal investigations in Israel,91 New Zealand,92 and the Netherlands93 all demonstrating a link between cannabis use and later psychosis. Two recent reviews have drawn together the evidence from Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical these longitudinal studies.94,95 Both conclude that the current evidence has implications for public health messages targeted particularly at vulnerable young people. Arseneault et al94 calculate that, while on an individual level cannabis use is associated with a
twofold increase in RR for schizophrenia, elimination of such use on a population level would reduce the incidence of schizophrenia by approximately 8%. Recent evidence Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical from a Dutch first-onset study also indicates that cannabis use can precipitate an earlier onset of illness and, in fact, they found such use to be a stronger determinant of early onset than gender.96 Male cannabis users were a mean of 6.9 years younger at illness onset than male nonusers. Thus, there now appears to be increasing evidence that cannabis can trigger the onset of schizophrenia, at least in those who are already predisposed to develop Resminostat the disorder. Whether cannabis misuse can trigger such illness onset in those not previously vulnerable is still contentious. Dopamine dysregulation has long been thought central to generation of psychotic symptoms. Evidence for the hypothesis originally derived from the observation that antipsychotics block dopamine receptors while agonists elicit positive symptomatology More recently the development of psychosis has been postulated to depend on dopamine sensitization.