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Cannabis use and the risk of later schizophrenia: a review.

Review article
Smit F, et al. Addiction. 2004.

Abstract

AIM: To study the role of cannabis use in the onset of symptoms and disorders in the schizophrenia spectrum.

DESIGN: Review of five population-based, longitudinal studies on the relationship between cannabis use and problems ranging from the experience of psychotic symptoms to hospitalization with a confirmed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Several hypotheses are examined that may explain this relationship: (1) self-medication; (2) effects of other drugs; (3) confounding; (4) stronger effect in predisposed people, and (5) etiological hypothesis.

FINDINGS: Hypotheses 1 and 2 can be dismissed; hypothesis 3 is still open to debate, and converging evidence is found for hypotheses 4 and 5-antecedent cannabis use appears to act as a risk factor in the onset of schizophrenia, especially in vulnerable people, but also in people without prior history.

CONCLUSION: There is an intrinsic message here for public health, but how that message is to be translated into action is not immediately clear.

PMID

15049742 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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