Familial factors may not explain the effect of moderate‐to‐heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents: a sibling‐comparison study

Published on Apr 1, 2021in Addiction6.343
· DOI :10.1111/ADD.15207
Jarrod M. Ellingson13
Estimated H-index: 13
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder),
J. Megan Ross8
Estimated H-index: 8
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
+ 8 AuthorsChristian J. Hopfer48
Estimated H-index: 48
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
Sources
Abstract
Aims To examine whether moderate adolescent cannabis use has neurocognitive effects that are unexplained by familial confounds, which prior family-controlled studies may not have identified. Design A quasi-experimental, sibling-comparison design was applied to a prospective, observational study of adolescents with moderate cannabis use. Participants were recruited from 2001 to 2006 (mean age = 17 years). A second wave of data was collected from 2008 to 2013 (mean age = 24 years). Setting Two US metropolitan communities. Participants A total of 1192 adolescents from 596 families participated in this study. Participants were primarily male (64%) and racially and ethnically diverse (non-Hispanic white = 45%). A sibling in each family was a clinical proband identified due to delinquent behaviors. Whereas prior family-controlled studies have used samples of primarily infrequent cannabis users (mean = 1-2 days/month), participants here endorsed levels of cannabis use comparable to findings from epidemiological cohort studies (mean = 7-9 days/month). Measurements Semi-structured clinical interviews assessed drug use, and a neuropsychological battery assessed cognitive abilities. Covariates included age at assessment, gender and alcohol use. Findings After correcting for multiple testing, a greater frequency and earlier onset of regular cannabis use were associated with poorer cognitive performance, specifically on tests of verbal memory. Further, after accounting for familial factors shared by siblings and alcohol use, poorer verbal memory performance was still associated with greater life-time frequency of cannabis use at wave 1 [b = -0.007 (-0.002, -0.012), adjusted P = 0.036]; earlier cannabis use at wave 2 [b = -0.12 (-0.05, -0.19), adjusted P = 0.006; b = -0.14 (-0.06, -0.23), adjusted P = 0.006]; and greater frequency of past 6 months use at wave 2 [b = -0.02 (-0.01, -0.03), adjusted P = 0.002; b = -0.02 (-0.01, -0.03), adjusted P = 0.008]. Conclusions Moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects on cognitive functioning, specifically verbal memory, that cannot be explained by familial factors.
References41
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#1J. Megan Ross (CU: University of Colorado Boulder)H-Index: 8
#2Jarrod M. Ellingson (CU: University of Colorado Boulder)H-Index: 13
Last. Naomi P. Friedman (CU: University of Colorado Boulder)H-Index: 28
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Abstract Background It is unclear whether cannabis use causes cognitive decline; several studies show an association between cannabis use and cognitive decline, but quasi-experimental twin studies have found little support for a causal effect. Here, we evaluate the association of cannabis use with general cognitive ability and executive functions (EFs) while controlling for genetic and shared environmental confounds in a longitudinal twin study. Methods We first examined the phenotypic associati...
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OBJECTIVE: Impairments in neurocognitive functioning, including memory and executive functions, have been identified among adult cannabis users; however, less is known about the effects of cannabis use (CU) among adolescent users. Delineating the directionality of associations between CU and neurocognition has been restricted due to the relatively few longitudinal studies examining this question. As such, we examined whether decision-making prospectively predicted CU, and whether increases in CU...
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Importance Substantial shifts in perception and policy regarding cannabis have recently occurred, with use of cannabis increasing while its perceived harm decreases. One possible risk of increased cannabis use is poorer cognitive functioning, especially in youth. Objective To provide the first quantitative synthesis of the literature examining cannabis and cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults (with a mean age of 26 years and younger). Data Sources PubMed, PsycInfo, Academic Sear...
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The regular use of cannabis during adolescence is of particular concern because use by this age group seems to be associated with an increased likelihood of deleterious consequences, as reported by several epidemiologic studies. However, despite their unquestionable value, epidemiologic data are inconclusive. Modeling the adolescent phase in animals appears to be a useful approach to investigate the impact of cannabis use on the adolescent brain. In these models, adolescent cannabinoid exposure ...
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Previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses of cross-sectional data assessing the effect of cannabis on cognitive functioning and intelligence show inconsistent results. We hypothesized that frequent and dependent cannabis use in youth would be associated with Intelligence Quotient (IQ) decline. This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched Embase, PubMed and PsychInfo from inception to 24 January 2020. We included studies with non-treatment seeking samples and pre- and post...
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