WSU researchers see cognitive changes in offspring of heavy cannabis-using rats

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have seen cognitive changes in the offspring of rats exposed to heavy amounts of cannabis. Their work is one of the rare studies to look at the effects of cannabis during pregnancy. The drug is the most commonly used illicit substance among pregnant women.

Ryan McLaughlin, an assistant professor of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, exposed pregnant rats to various concentrations of cannabis vapor and documented how the offspring of those exposed to high amounts had trouble adjusting their strategy to get sugar rewards.

“Prenatal exposure to cannabis may cause meaningful changes in brain development that can negatively impact cognitive functioning into adulthood,” McLaughlin and his colleagues wrote in a summary for a presentation Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, Neuroscience 2018, in San Diego. It is the largest neuroscience conference in the world.

The researchers used a new model of exposure, vaporizing cannabis extracts

... read more at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/wsu-wrs103118.php

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