Skip to comments.Memory, speed of thinking get worse over time with marijuana use
Posted on 03/13/2006 6:23:52 PM PST by Moonman62
Memory, speed of thinking and other cognitive abilities get worse over time with marijuana use, according to a new study published in the March 14, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study found that frequent marijuana users performed worse than non-users on tests of cognitive abilities, including divided attention (ability to pay attention to more than one stimulus at a time) and verbal fluency (number of words generated within a time limit). Those who had used marijuana for 10 years or more had more problems with their thinking abilities than those who had used marijuana for five to 10 years. All of the marijuana users were heavy users, which was defined as smoking four or more joints per week.
"We found that the longer people used marijuana, the more deterioration they had in these cognitive abilities, especially in the ability to learn and remember new information," said study author Lambros Messinis, PhD, of the Department of Neurology of the University Hospital of Patras in Patras, Greece. "In several areas, their abilities were significant enough to be considered impaired, with more impairment in the longer-term users than the shorter-term users."
The study involved people ages 17 to 49 taking part in a drug abuse treatment program in Athens, Greece. There were 20 long-term users, 20 shorter-term users and 24 control subjects who had used marijuana at least once in their lives but not more than 20 times and not in the past two years. Those who had used any other class of drugs, such as cocaine or stimulants, during the past year or for more than three months throughout their lives were not included in the study. Before the tests were performed, all participants had to abstain from marijuana for at least 24 hours.
The marijuana users performed worse in several cognitive domains, including delayed recall, recognition and executive functions of the brain. For example, on a test measuring the ability to make decisions, long-term users had 70 percent impaired performance, compared to 55 percent impaired performance for shorter-term users and 8 percent impaired performance for non-users. In a test where participants needed to remember a list of words that had been read to them earlier, the non-users remembered an average of 12 out of 15 words, the shorter-term users remembered an average of nine words and the long-term users remembered an average of seven words.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 19,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.
Yeah, as in "that's why they call it dope." Right?
From personal experience they are correct....
I got news for you: It gets slower anyways.
Jeopardy has to have old people compete against old people, because old people are slow at the switch.
Then they edit out the uncomfortable delays.
What were you saying, dude? I was like, spacing for a second.
Dude, you're, like, totally harshing my mellow...
This be junk siense.
< I got news for you: It gets slower anyways. >
I can attest to that. I've never even tried the stuff and the memory is shot. Of course, being in high school in the late 60's, it could be from all the second hand on the school bus.
I wish I could blame it on something besides old age. Gettin' old ain't for sissies.
One needs to say goodbye to pot relatively young, and just use it on odd weekends, when young. That is particularly true with the strong stuff. It really does take its toll, if one is not quite careful, at least in my experience.
I now hear from my former Vietnam buds who were smoking dope in 1971-72. Every other word was G.D. MoFo. Guess nothing changes if you smoke that old Golden Triangle wacky weed. Watched it screw up a lot of people.
>>I've never even tried the stuff and the memory is shot.
Ditto. My memory's not bad yet but it sure ain't what it was. "Memory, speed of thinking get worse over time with marijuana use" and without it.
But they are saying MJ just makes it get even slower.
Whether they are users of drugs or not..
Wonder if that fact was factored in..
I was curious what the theme for denial was going to be. It looks like they are going to take off with the "they were too stupid to correct for age angle."
Huh? What was I saying?
Well, yeah, the people who were smoking for ten years are five years older than the people who were smoking for five years!
The abstract does not mention how the data was normalized, though, so that alone can't be used to reject it.
There just cannot be negative consequences, though.
I'm with you on that, brother.
I can remember all the lyrics to "American Pie", but I can't remember what I had for breakfast.
My own position on the matter is (1) it isn't bad for an adult in moderation, (2) it isn't good for a kid in any amount, (3) it was made illegal for fraudulent and invalid reasons, (4) if it is made legal again there will absolutely be social costs to be paid, because (5) for some people it becomes difficult to quit and (6) for those people it can be very destructive, and (7) for most people it won't.
So the legalization issue becomes a calculus between cost and benefit as does any legislation. I do think the "war" on drugs has had profoundly disturbing effects with respect to civil liberties and that asset forfeiture and "no-knock" searches are wildly unconstitutional. I also think that anyone who minimizes the real hazards of this psychoactive is not acquainted sufficiently with it.
Contradictory enough? Life is like that.
"Far out, man!"
Dave's not here...
Dude, where's my bong?
You had American pie for breakfast? I think I had eggs - not sure though.
I cannot argue with the headline. It seems to be common sense. I don't advocate using drugs. However, if something doesn't violate my rights, I am not a proponent of it being illegal. Smoking pot, as stupid as it may be doesn't violate my right to life, liberty, or property. Of course the argument will be made," Well if they drive a car...yadda....yadda...yadda..." However, driving under the influence is already illegal. Doing many things while under the influence are already illegal. I have never understood the whole marijuana should be illegal argument. It doesn't fly with me.
Beats the alternative.
Cost and benefits. That is where the heavy lifting comes in. Broad brush ideological statements won't do. One thing we can do, that is a rather more clear choice, is get many to most the of drug users out of jail. It is a waste of money and space, and is undermining the support for prisons for the violent, plus the jailers become there own rather virulent public employee pressure group. One can see the erosion in California. It isn't a pretty sight, but then the politics of California in general is these days, something less than a wholly satisfying aesthetic experience.
so who wants to make a burrit0 run?
As a lagniappe, I favored pot being illegal, even while inhaling. It isn't all just about me.
I smoked weed moderately to heavily as a teenager and lightly to moderately through most of my adult life and kind of just got tired of it like you.
I've always been able to achieve pretty much anything I set my mind to but looking back on my life, I think the weed use made me achieve less than I normally would've by this age and it definitely made me apathetic in a lot of areas which caused me to make some very wrong decisions in regards to certain opportunities that I squandered. (It also makes me write run-on sentences. :o)
It's that old 20/20 hindsight kicking in now that I'm in my 40's and won't have some of those opportunities back.
Everyone in the survey started smoking pot at the same age?
To which I ask... so what? It's completely voluntary, and the people it happens to don't seem to be the ones worried about it.
But don't worry about anything being legalized any time soon. There's FAR too much money being made by both the dealers and the government to ever risk losing the gravy train.
And... there's plenty of reasonably priced supply for anybody that wants it... so really... who cares?
Pee in the bottle!
Now! (Fireproof suit donned. I peed in the bottle in Vietnam.)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who regularly smoke marijuana may find their memories growing hazy over time, a study published Monday suggests.
If you can find a link to the actual study, would you ping me? I am sort of curious to read it myself.
Yes, they are correct. It dumbs you down and SLOWS you down.
The best antidote to excessive self destructive pot use, which causes the caution, and the moderation, is a burning ambition to achieve one's goals, that one has set for oneself, in which one's ego heavily invested, and which becomes a rather hard wiring and almost consuming matter of self respect. I wish I could put it better, but that is my experience. But man oh man what it fun, in certain contexts. It was grand!
faster than normal?
Taquitos from Whataburger, the ultimate 2:00am food!!
What were we talking about?
Perhaps he looked on the site and then forgot the article by the time he got back.
You have to be a subscriber to read the actual article, but the Abstract is free.
In oher words, this is your brain, and this is your brain on drugs. Any questions?