Brain Changes Pronounced in Schizophrenics Who Smoke Marijuana

Cannabis use disorder is the standard term for people diagnosed with cannabis (marijuana or hashish) addiction or a pattern of dysfunctional, non-addicted cannabis use that causes serious impairment or life disruption. People affected by this disorder commonly experience changes in their brain function that include significant memory problems. In a study published in December 2013…

Study Underscores Similarities Between Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two mental health conditions known for the disruptive, dysfunctional changes they can make in everyday human behavior. Mental health professionals view these two conditions as distinct from one another, and the American Psychiatric Association officially places them in separate categories of mental illness. However, according to the authors of a…

Pulses of Light Make Rodents Stop Drinking

Researchers have clearly established that a chemical dependence on alcohol occurs when repeated alcohol use changes the brain’s chemical requirements. However, they have never fully understood how alcohol exposure produces its characteristic alcoholism-related effects. In a study published in late 2013 in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Science, researchers from several U.S. institutions explored the…

Heavy Alcohol, Drug Use Shortening Lives of Mentally Ill

Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Southern California recently undertook the largest-ever survey of drug, alcohol and tobacco use among people with severe mental illnesses. They found that people with significant psychiatric problems are far more likely to use alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. The survey, published recently in the online journal…