A new study reports marijuana users have lower blood flow to the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and learning. Hippocampus, the brain’s key memory, and learning center, has the lowest blood flow in marijuana users suggesting higher vulnerability to Alzheimer’s. As the U.S. races to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, a new, large-scale brain imaging study gives reason for caution. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a sophisticated imaging study that evaluates blood flow and activity patterns, demonstrated abnormally low blood flow in virtually every area of the brain studies in nearly 1,000 marijuana compared to healthy controls, including areas known to be affected by Alzheimer’s pathology such as the hippocampus.
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