Schizophrenia More Likely to Lead to Cannabis Use…. Not the Reverse - Dr Dave Hepburn

Friday, 5 October 2018

Article recommend by Dr. Dave Hepburn:

GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia.

Cannabis use is a heritable trait that has been associated with adverse mental health outcomes. In the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) for lifetime cannabis use to date (N = 184,765), we identified eight genome-wide significant independent single nucleotide polymorphisms in six regions. All measured genetic variants combined explained 11% of the variance. Gene-based tests revealed 35 significant genes in 16 regions, and S-PrediXcan analyses showed that 21 genes had different expression levels for cannabis users versus nonusers. The strongest finding across the different analyses was CADM2, which has been associated with substance use and risk-taking. Significant genetic correlations were found with 14 of 25 tested substance use and mental health-related traits, including smoking, alcohol use, schizophrenia and risk-taking. Mendelian randomization analysis showed evidence for a causal positive influence of schizophrenia risk on cannabis use. Overall, our study provides new insights into the etiology of cannabis use and its relation with mental health.

“It is well known that cannabis use is higher in those with schizophrenia. However, cannabis has never been shown to cause schizophrenia; in fact, the opposite appears to be true as more research is lining up showing that those with schizophrenia are more likely to turn to cannabis, possibly to help deal with the social isolation and/or a genetic predisposition as this study infers. Once again, any who claim that cannabis causes schizophrenia, are simply incorrect.” 
Dr. Dave Hepburn

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