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New Study Examines 'Brain's Own Marijuana'

Date:
May 17, 2007
Source:
University Of Buffalo
Summary:
A researcher is investigating the "brain's own marijuana" -- called endocannabinoid -- in the regulation of stress, stress-related behavior and anxiety. The researcher believes this study may lay the foundation for better pharmacotherapy for stress-related mood disorders.

A researcher at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) is investigating the "brain's own marijuana" -- called endocannabinoid -- in the regulation of stress, stress-related behavior and anxiety.

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A five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health is supporting this investigation.

"It is widely accepted that one of the major reasons that people use and abuse marijuana is to relieve stress," according to Samir Haj-Dahmane, Ph.D., neuroscientist and principal investigator on the RIA study. "However, because marijuana can be addictive, it cannot be used to treat stress-related mood disorders such as anxiety. An alternative strategy may be to directly target the 'brain's own marijuana.'"

The success of such a strategy requires a better understanding of how endocannabinoid moderates stress-related behaviors and how stress and stress hormones activate the endocannabinoid system.

Haj-Dahmane and his co-investigator, Troy Wood, Ph.D., will examine the relationships between stress, stress-related behavior and addiction using a combination of electrophysiological, pharmacological and neurochemical approaches. They believe this study also may lay the foundation for better pharmacotherapy for stress-related mood disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Buffalo. "New Study Examines 'Brain's Own Marijuana'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516191916.htm>.
University Of Buffalo. (2007, May 17). New Study Examines 'Brain's Own Marijuana'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516191916.htm
University Of Buffalo. "New Study Examines 'Brain's Own Marijuana'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516191916.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

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