alexa Multi-generational Effects Of Adolescent Cannabis Exposure
ISSN: 2167-1044

Journal of Depression and Anxiety
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3rd International Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management
June 21-22, 2017 London, UK

Henrietta Szutorisz
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Depress Anxiety
DOI: 10.4172/2167-1044-C1-003
Extensive debates continue worldwide regarding marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and the growing industry evolving around recreational and medical marijuana has led to increasing use of the drug particularly among young people, often to manage stress and anxiety. Today, millions of people worldwide meet the clinical diagnosis for Cannabis use disorder, which exceeds that of all other illicit drugs combined, even taking into consideration marijuana’s non-illicit status in several areas of the world. There has been an exponential increase of cannabis studies over the past two decades but the drug’s long-term effects still lack in-depth scientific data. Using an animal model, my research into the persistent behavioral and neurobiological consequences of cannabis has provided evidence that the effects of the main psychoactive component, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), extend even into the subsequent generations of users. Parental exposure to THC influences reward-seeking behavior in progeny and leads to molecular disturbances in the striatum, a key brain area regulating reward processing, emotion and habit formation. Disturbances of the epigenome (regulatory mechanisms “above the DNA”) have been hypothesized as the molecular machinery underlying the persistent neuropsychiatric effects of cannabinoids. Indeed, our studies revealed changes in the striatal epigenetic landscape (DNA methylation) of male and female offspring of THC-exposed parents and abnormal expression of several molecules with important neurobiological functions. The results suggest that cannabis use can have consequences reaching far beyond the immediate health of individuals directly exposed to the drug and can impact the subsequent generation.

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