Cannabis and Psychosis: How THC Can Induce Cognitive Impairment
Featured expert: Brian Miller, MD, PhD, MPH
Substance use comorbidity in psychotic disorders has been described as “the rule rather than the exception”, and is often deleterious to the clinical course of illness. Cannabis (marijuana) is one of the most commonly used substances by patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by the main psychoactive component in marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, can induce acute psychosis and cognitive impairment. Over the past two decades, there has been extensive research on the association between cannabis and psychosis. The purpose of this presentation is to synthesize recent research in this area, including associations between cannabis and psychosis risk; the epidemiology and phenomenology of psychosis and comorbid cannabis use; and associations between cannabis use and clinical course, and outcomes in psychosis.
The presentation is designed to help you:
1. Assess the evidence for an association between cannabis and psychosis.
2. Discuss the epidemiology and phenomenology of psychosis and comorbid cannabis use.
3. Discuss associations between cannabis use, and clinical course and outcomes in psychosis.
4. Discuss pupillometry as a novel marker of suicide risk in patients with psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Brian Miller is Professor of Psychiatry with tenure in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. He earned a BS in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, a combined MD/MPH degree from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology from the University of Oulu (Finland). He completed his general psychiatry residency and fellowship in psychotic disorders at Augusta University, where he served as chief resident, and joined the faculty in 2010.
Dr. Miller currently focuses on clinical schizophrenia research, including inflammation/immune dysfunction; cardiometabolic abnormalities; and insomnia, and is funded by the Stanley Medical Research Foundation, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. He currently has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He has been recognized with several awards, including the 2010 Augusta University Resident of the Year, a 2011 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the 2015 Augusta University Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty Award, and the 2017 OSU College of Medicine Early Career Achievement Alumni Award. He is an editorial board member of Schizophrenia Bulletin, BMC Psychiatry, and Psychiatric Times. In addition to his research, Dr. Miller provides clinical care for patients with schizophrenia, and supervises and teaches residents and medical students in general psychiatry.
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