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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Jun;939:413-5.

Marijuana abusers are at increased risk for stroke. Preliminary evidence from cerebrovascular perfusion data.

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  • 1Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. rherning@intra.nida.nih.gov


We have recorded blood flow velocity in the anterior and middle cerebral arteries by transcranial Doppler sonography in abstinent marijuana abusers (n = 16) and control subjects (n = 19) to assess the effects of prolonged marijuana use of the cerebrovascular system. The pulsatility index, a measure of cerebrovascular resistance, and systolic velocity were significantly (p < 0.005) increased in marijuana abusers compared to the control subjects. These findings suggest that cerebral perfusion observed in 18-30 year old marijuana abusers is comparable to that of normal 60 year-olds. Thus, chronic abuse of marijuana might be a risk factor for stroke.

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