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Title: Prodromal symptoms in skunk users
Author: Hunt, S.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Epidemiological studies have associated cannabis use with schizophrenia for decades. In the past decade meta-analyses of this research have helped to establish a causal link between cannabis use and the onset of psychotic symptoms as a result of both acute experimental studies and longitudinal studies of recreational use. Despite this, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms by which cannabis might contribute to the symptoms of schizophrenia. This review presents research on the effects of cannabis in relation to the symptoms of those found in the prodromal phase of schizophrenia, individuals at high risk of developing full psychotic episodes. The importance of investigating the prodrome is outlined before some of the similarities of the phenomenological experiences of the prodrome and those caused by cannabis are illustrated. The paper reviews the cognitive, neurobiological and structural evidence of how cannabis might contribute to the prodrome. The review includes the vulnerability factors that have been shown to mediate these effects. Finally, the paper highlights the evidence that the psychoactive potency of cannabis in the British market has grown and the absence of research into the effects of the recreational use of "skunk," a high potency variety of cannabis which accounts for 81% of the cannabis sold in the UK today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available