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Teen Drug Abuse

Neuroscience Researchers Say that Teen Marijuana, Alcohol or Amphetamine Use Can Cause Permanent Brain Damage

posted 01:27 AM EST, Wed November 17, 2010

A roundup of research results on the consequences of teen drug abuse as presented at the Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in San Diego.

Researchers at the 2010 Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego are talking a lot about new research results that highlight the damage early substance abuse can wreak on still developing adolescent brains.

Some of the presented research findings include:

  • Cannabis stays active in the teen brain for days after use, impacting on memory and learning (Dr. Frances Jensen of Children's Hospital Boston.)
  • Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that teens who start using marijuana early and who use it heavily are at risk of permanently decreased IQs, particularly showing reduced cognitive flexibility, or an inability to change a response based on changing circumstances.
  • Researchers at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science found that adolescents are better at ‘learning’ addiction and can develop more entrenched addiction sin less time.
  • Researchers at Loyola University say that teen binge drinking can affect stress hormones, which may cause increases susceptibility to depression and anxiety later in life.
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign used animal model studies to show that adolescent brains exposed to amphetamine show decreased responses to dopamine later in life.
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Story Highlights
  • Teen Brain Damage: Researchers say that due to the developing nature of the adolescent brain, drug abuse during this stage can lead to permanent damage.
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