- A new study suggests reductions in cannabis as an interventional target to improve outcomes for psychosis patients
- Psychosis is a mental health issue that causes individuals to perceive things differently from those around them
- The study found patients who continued cannabis use after onset of psychosis experienced adverse outcomes
- Adverse outcomes include longer hospital admissions, higher relapse rates, and more severe positive symptoms
- Researchers analyzed articles published in MEDLINE
A new study published in the Lancet suggests reductions in cannabis as an important interventional target to improve outcome in individuals with psychosis.
Psychosis is a mental health issue that causes individuals to perceive things differently from those around them
People suffering from psychosis may exhibit some personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by abnormal behavior, difficulty in social interaction and impairment in carrying out day-to-day activities.
Psychosis affects three out of every 100 people. Psychosis is most likely to be identified in young adults, but the condition can happen to anyone.
The study found that patients who continued cannabis use after onset of psychosis experienced adverse outcomes including longer hospital admissions, higher relapse rates, and more severe positive symptoms compared to individuals who discontinued cannabis use and those who were non-users.
The study jointly conducted by researchers at King’s College London, the UK and the University of Milan, Italy, aimed to identify the effects of continued and discontinued cannabis use after the onset of psychosis.
The researchers analyzed articles published in MEDLINE from the database inception date up until April 21, 2015. They compared relapse outcomes between those who continued or discontinued cannabis use or were non-users.
Results showed that continued cannabis users had a greater increase in relapse of psychosis than did both non-users and discontinued users. However, cannabis discontinuation was not associated with relapse. Meta-regression suggested greater effects of continued cannabis use than discontinued use on relapse, positive symptoms and level of functioning but not on negative symptoms.
Several studies have linked cannabis use to increased risk for mental problems, including psychosis. A recent study showed that cannabis users who carry a specific variant of the AKT1 gene are at increased risk of developing psychosis. Another study revealed an increased risk of psychosis among adults who had used marijuana in adolescence.
Tabea Schoeler, MS, Anna Monk, MSc, Musa B Sami, MD, Ewa Klamerus, BSc, Enrico Foglia, BSc, Ruth Brown, MSc, Giulia Camuri, MD, Prof A Carlo Altamura, MD, Prof Robin Murray, FRCPsych, Dr. Sagnik Bhattacharyya.