A Prospective Neuroimaging Study in Young Children
El Marroun et al, Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun
BACKGROUND: Cannabis use during pregnancy has been associated with negative behavioral outcomes and psychopathology in offspring. However, there has been little research evaluating alterations in brain structure as a result of maternal cannabis use. In this prospective study, we investigated the association between prenatalcannabisexposure and brainmorphology in young children.
RESULTS:Prenatalcannabisexposure was not associated with global brain volumes, such as total brain volume, gray matter volume, or white matter volume. However, prenatalcannabisexposure was associated with differences in cortical thickness: compared with nonexposed control subjects, cannabis-exposed children had thicker frontal cortices. Prenataltobaccoexposure compared with nonexposed control subjects was associated with cortical thinning, primarily in the superior frontal and superior parietal cortices.
CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest an association between prenatalcannabisexposure and cortical thickness in children. Further research is needed to explore the causal nature of this association