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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Jan;25(1):100-12. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

The cannabinoid system and visual processing: a review on experimental findings and clinical presumptions.

Author information

1
EA7298, INGRES, Université de Lorraine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy F-54000, France; Maison des Addictions, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; Centre Psychothérapique de Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; INSERM U1114, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Strasbourg, Strasbourg F-67000, France.
2
EA7298, INGRES, Université de Lorraine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy F-54000, France; Maison des Addictions, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; Centre d׳Investigation Clinique CIC-INSERM 9501, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; Centre Psychothérapique de Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France.
3
Service d׳Ophtalmologie, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France.
4
Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, UFR de Médecine, Paris F-75000, France.
5
Clinique Psychiatrique, CHRU Strasbourg, FTMS, Strasbourg, F-67000, France; INSERM U1114, Physiopathologie et Psychopathologie Cognitive de la Schizophrénie, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg F-67000, France.
6
INSERM U1114, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Strasbourg, Strasbourg F-67000, France.
7
EA7298, INGRES, Université de Lorraine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy F-54000, France; Maison des Addictions, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; Centre d׳Investigation Clinique CIC-INSERM 9501, CHU Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France; Centre Psychothérapique de Nancy, Nancy F-54000, France. Electronic address: v.laprevote@chu-nancy.fr.

Abstract

Cannabis is one of the most prevalent drugs used worldwide. Regular cannabis use is associated with impairments in highly integrative cognitive functions such as memory, attention and executive functions. To date, the cerebral mechanisms of these deficits are still poorly understood. Studying the processing of visual information may offer an innovative and relevant approach to evaluate the cerebral impact of exogenous cannabinoids on the human brain. Furthermore, this knowledge is required to understand the impact of cannabis intake in everyday life, and especially in car drivers. Here we review the role of the endocannabinoids in the functioning of the visual system and the potential involvement of cannabis use in visual dysfunctions. This review describes the presence of the endocannabinoids in the critical stages of visual information processing, and their role in the modulation of visual neurotransmission and visual synaptic plasticity, thereby enabling them to alter the transmission of the visual signal. We also review several induced visual changes, together with experimental dysfunctions reported in cannabis users. In the discussion, we consider these results in relation to the existing literature. We argue for more involvement of public health research in the study of visual function in cannabis users, especially because cannabis use is implicated in driving impairments.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis; Driving impairments; Endocannabinoid system; Neurotransmission; Visual dysfunctions; Visual information processing

PMID:
25482685
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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