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Cannabis customers exhibit greater susceptibility in order to false memories



A new study published in the American journal with the maximum impact factor in global, Molecular Psychiatry, shows that consumers of cannabis are more prone to experiencing memories that are false.

The analysis 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). One of the known effects of have this drug is the recollection problems it can cause. Persistent consumers reveal more issues compared to the overall public in retaining new info and recovering memories. The new study also shows the chronic utilization of cannabis causes distortions in memory, which makes it easier for recollections that are fanciful or false to appear.

On occasions, the brain can remember things that never occurred. Our memory is made up of malleable procedure which is created increasingly and consequently is subject to distortions or even false memories. These memory "mistakes" are seen more often in several neurological and psychiatric illnesses, but can also be detected in the healthy people, and become more common as we age. One of the most common false memories we have are from our youth which we believe to remember because the folks around us have explained them to us over and over again of situations. Maintaining an acceptable control over the "veracity" of our memories is a complicated cognitive task which allows us to have our own awareness of reality and also shapes our behavior, predicated on post traumatic stress past 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 succession of words while they worked. After several 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 first list. Cannabis consumers considered to have seen the semantically connected new words to a degree that was higher than participants in the control group. Researchers discovered that cannabis consumers revealed a lower activation in areas of the brain related to memory processes and to the overall control of cognitive resources, by using magnetic resonance imaging.

The study found memory deficiencies regardless of the fact that participants had ceased have cannabis one month before participating in the analysis. Although they had not have the drug in a month, the more the patient had used cannabis throughout their life, the lower the degree of activity in the hippocampus, key to storing memories.

The outcomes demonstrate that cannabis consumers are somewhat more exposed to enduring memory distortions, even weeks after not consuming the drug. This implies that cannabis has a prolonged effect on the brain mechanisms which allow us to distinguish between fantastic and actual events. These memory mistakes can cause difficulties in legal cases, for example, due to the effects the testimonies of their victims and witnesses can have. Nevertheless, from a clinical perspective, the results point to the fact that a long-term use of cannabis could worsen problems with age-associated memory loss.