Cannabis, psychosis and the thalamus

A theoretical review

Zoran Vukadinovic, Merrill Scot Herman, Ivana Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of cannabis in the etiology of schizophrenia has been documented as possibly the strongest environmental risk factor. However, the pathomechanism whereby cannabis use increases this risk has not yet been identified. We argue that this pathomechanism may involve direct effects of exogenous cannabinoids on T-type calcium channels in the thalamus. These channels are crucial for amplification of corticothalamic inputs, as well as for the ability of the thalamus to generate neuronal burst firing. Cortically induced thalamic burst firing has been found to be important in trans-thalamic cortico-cortical interactions. Therefore, any potential interference with the burst firing mode in the thalamus could lead to an impairment in these interactions, which in turn causes a relative disconnection between cortical areas. This in turn could result in reduced ability to recognize re-afferent sensory inputs and psychosis. We also argue that the effects of Δ9THC are more detrimental compared with the effects of cannabidiol, as the former may increase the excitability of thalamic neurons by its direct effect on T-type calcium channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-667
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

Cannabis
Thalamus
T-Type Calcium Channels
Psychotic Disorders
Aptitude
Cannabidiol
Cannabinoids
Schizophrenia
Neurons

Keywords

  • ΔTHC
  • Burst firing
  • CBD
  • Higher order thalamic nuclei
  • Source-monitoring deficits
  • T-type calcium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Cannabis, psychosis and the thalamus : A theoretical review. / Vukadinovic, Zoran; Herman, Merrill Scot; Rosenzweig, Ivana.

In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 37, No. 4, 05.2013, p. 658-667.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vukadinovic, Zoran ; Herman, Merrill Scot ; Rosenzweig, Ivana. / Cannabis, psychosis and the thalamus : A theoretical review. In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2013 ; Vol. 37, No. 4. pp. 658-667.
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