Year of selection 2010
Institution ESPCI PariTech
Cannabis use during adolescence may accelerate the transition to psychosis in individuals predisposed to schizophrenia. Cannabis acts on the brain through molecules in the neurons called CB1 receptors (CB1R). Dr. Damien Carrel is studying these receptors using two types of transgenic animals. First, he is using rats with more or less active CB1R to imitate different levels of cannabis consumption and study the morphology of their neurons. He is also using mice in which the neurons are naturally made fluorescent with CB1R to study their cellular structure -and manipulated – to see the effects of CB1R activation on their morphology. Finally, Dr. Carrel is analyzing the structural modifications of entire brain regions of the rats in an effort to correlate these modifications with their schizophrenic tendencies. His work could help us understand the risks of cannabis use during adolescence and would help prevent and treat schizophrenia.
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