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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.


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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