Effects of Physical Activity and Marijuana Use on Brain Function in Teens
Marijuana (MJ) use is the second most popular drug in teens. It is relatively unknown how adolescent MJ use affects affective processing or frontolimbic connectivity. To date, there are no known treatments to ameliorate frontolimbic brain functioning in adolescent MJ users. In adults, benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness on brain health have been established. This NIH/NIDA-funded six-year study will characterize the effects of MJ use on brain health and establish whether physical activity normalizes the negative consequences of MJ use on the brain in teens. Data are being collected from 120 teens with and without a history of MJ use. Over five visits, all teens undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, VO2 (cardiorespiratory) testing, an activity log, cognitive testing and neuropsychological interview/testing. Using modern statistical software, MJ use and VO2 levels will be examined in relation to cognitive functioning and brain health in over 100 teens.