Functional neuroimaging data from adults have, in general, revealed frontocerebellar dysfunction associated with acute and chronic marijuana (MJ) use. The goal of this study was to characterize cerebellar volume in adolescent chronic MJ users following 1 month of monitored abstinence. Participants were MJ users (n=16) and controls (n=16) aged 16-18. years. Extensive exclusionary criteria included history of psychiatric or neurologic disorders. Drug use history, neuropsychological data, and structural brain scans were collected after 28. days of monitored abstinence. Trained research staff defined cerebellar volumes (including three cerebellar vermis lobes and both cerebellar hemispheres) on high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. Adolescent MJ users demonstrated significantly larger inferior posterior (lobules VIII-X) vermis volume than controls, above and beyond effects of lifetime alcohol and other drug use, gender, and intracranial volume. Larger vermis volumes were associated with poorer executive functioning. Following 1 month of abstinence, adolescent MJ users had significantly larger posterior cerebellar vermis volumes than non-using controls. These greater volumes are suggested to be pathological based on linkage to poorer executive functioning. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine typical cerebellar development during adolescence and the influence of marijuana use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Psychiatry and Mental health