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Gene could help identify psychosis risk in cannabis users

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posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 01:41 PM
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Gene could help identify psychosis risk in cannabis users


Researchers at the University of Exeter and UCL (University College London) have identified a gene which can be used to predict how susceptible a young person is to the mind-altering effects of smoking cannabis. The finding could help identify otherwise healthy users who are most at risk of developing psychosis.

The research, funded by the Medical Research Council and published today in Translational Psychiatry, also show that female cannabis smokers are potentially more susceptible to short-term memory loss than males. Previous studies in this field have looked at people who already have psychosis, but this is the first study to look at healthy people and to examine their acute response - or how the drug affects their minds.

Previous research has found a link between the AKT1 gene and people who have gone on to develop psychosis. In the new study, Celia Morgan, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter and Professor Val Curran and her team from UCL found that young people with variation in the 'AKT1' gene experienced visual distortions, paranoia and other psychotic-like symptoms more strongly when they were under the influence of cannabis.

Around one per cent of cannabis users develop psychosis. Although low in number, the impact can be devastating and long lasting. It is known that smoking cannabis daily doubles an individual's risk of developing a psychotic disorder, but it has been difficult to establish who is most vulnerable. Researchers have previously found a high prevalence of one variant of the AKT1 genotype in cannabis users who went on to develop psychosis as a result of their use. This is the first research that shows the link between the same gene and the effects of smoked cannabis in healthy young people.


So for the longest time its been known that cannabis users have an extremely small chance to develop psychosis from using it. Now a study has been released where scientists have pinpointed a specific gene, AKT1, that seems to be linked to this tendency towards psychosis.

Naturally, there is nothing conclusive here, but this is promising. By identifying the people that can be at risk, we stand poised to learn a lot about this plant and even mental illness in general. Now I'm pretty sure the study isn't saying that if you have this gene, you ABSOLUTELY will have a psychotic breakdown by using cannabis, just that your chances are elevated.




posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 01:44 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

..Soon there will be a strain called AKT1.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: solve

Lol. You are probably right.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I don't know... I've had a lot of experience from an extremely young age on this subject, and I can honestly say the people I've witnessed who ended up flipping out after abusing cannabis, were never the definition of what you would call mentally stable individuals in the first place... and/or didn't exactly come from wholesome home environments.

Whether they've identified a certain gene or not is still irrelevant, imo... its still a chicken and egg argument.

Were they self medicating due to a subconscious awareness of an inevitable condition, or was psychosis physically induced by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors?



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: Subaeruginosa

Well this is why more information is needed on this gene. What it does to people, how to detect it, what it is capable of, etc.

ETA: Here's some info on the gene.
AKT1



Proteus syndrome - caused by mutations in the AKT1 gene

At least one mutation in the AKT1 gene has been found to cause Proteus syndrome, a rare condition characterized by overgrowth of the bones, skin, and other tissues. This mutation changes a single protein building block (amino acid) in AKT1 kinase. Specifically, it replaces the amino acid glutamic acid with the amino acid lysine at protein position 17 (written as Glu17Lys or E17K). The mutation is not inherited from a parent; in people with Proteus syndrome, the mutation arises randomly in one cell during the early stages of development before birth. As cells continue to grow and divide, some cells will have the mutation and other cells will not. This mixture of cells with and without a genetic mutation is known as mosaicism.

The Glu17Lys mutation leads to the production of an overactive AKT1 kinase that is turned on when it should not be. The abnormally active protein disrupts a cell's ability to regulate its own growth, allowing the cell to grow and divide abnormally. Increased cell proliferation in various tissues and organs leads to the overgrowth characteristic of Proteus syndrome. Studies suggest that the AKT1 gene mutation is more common in groups of cells that experience overgrowth than in the parts of the body that grow normally.
cancers - associated with the AKT1 gene

The Glu17Lys mutation in the AKT1 gene (described above) has also been found in a small percentage of breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. In these cases the mutation is somatic, which means it is acquired during a person's lifetime and is present only in tumor cells. The mutation abnormally activates AKT1 kinase, allowing cells to grow and divide without control or order. This disordered cell proliferation leads to the development of cancerous tumors.

Although the Glu17Lys mutation has been reported in only a few types of cancer, increased activity (expression) of the AKT1 gene is found in many types of cancer.
other disorders - associated with the AKT1 gene

Several common variations (polymorphisms) in the AKT1 gene have been found more often in people with schizophrenia than in those without the disease. These polymorphisms alter single DNA building blocks (nucleotides) in the AKT1 gene. It is unknown whether the genetic changes have an effect on the structure or function of AKT1 kinase, and if so, how they are related to the development of schizophrenia. AKT1 gene polymorphisms appear to be one of many genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of this complex psychiatric disorder.

edit on 16-2-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 03:07 PM
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Fascinating...

Some people react strange when under the influence of cannabis.

However, in my exhaustive research,

I discovered these people were clearly one sandwich shy of a picnic.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 03:17 PM
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People's genome therefore determines whether the right to bear arms applies.

Not Psychosis, the risk for it. It's enough. Also pill users are immune from this, it's just the cannabis.

Who financed this discovery?



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Gene could help identify psychosis risk in cannabis users


Researchers at the University of Exeter and UCL (University College London) have identified a gene which can be used to predict how susceptible a young person is to the mind-altering effects of smoking cannabis. The finding could help identify otherwise healthy users who are most at risk of developing psychosis.

The research, funded by the Medical Research Council and published today in Translational Psychiatry, also show that female cannabis smokers are potentially more susceptible to short-term memory loss than males. Previous studies in this field have looked at people who already have psychosis, but this is the first study to look at healthy people and to examine their acute response - or how the drug affects their minds.

Previous research has found a link between the AKT1 gene and people who have gone on to develop psychosis. In the new study, Celia Morgan, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter and Professor Val Curran and her team from UCL found that young people with variation in the 'AKT1' gene experienced visual distortions, paranoia and other psychotic-like symptoms more strongly when they were under the influence of cannabis.

Around one per cent of cannabis users develop psychosis. Although low in number, the impact can be devastating and long lasting. It is known that smoking cannabis daily doubles an individual's risk of developing a psychotic disorder, but it has been difficult to establish who is most vulnerable. Researchers have previously found a high prevalence of one variant of the AKT1 genotype in cannabis users who went on to develop psychosis as a result of their use. This is the first research that shows the link between the same gene and the effects of smoked cannabis in healthy young people.


So for the longest time its been known that cannabis users have an extremely small chance to develop psychosis from using it. Now a study has been released where scientists have pinpointed a specific gene, AKT1, that seems to be linked to this tendency towards psychosis.

Naturally, there is nothing conclusive here, but this is promising. By identifying the people that can be at risk, we stand poised to learn a lot about this plant and even mental illness in general. Now I'm pretty sure the study isn't saying that if you have this gene, you ABSOLUTELY will have a psychotic breakdown by using cannabis, just that your chances are elevated.


This is THE exact research that Ive been longing for........ What this means is that we can finally stop blaming the substance and instead focus on the individual instead.

All hail the end to ignorance regarding mild psychedelics.

I wonder if the same gene will influence the risk of getting psychosis from substances like psilocybin and lsd?

Im pretty sure that gene is dormant or non present in my body... But I have met a few poor cases that spun out while everyone else were laughing their ass off.
So cant really blame the cannabis right, otherwise everyone else would have been f'ed up as well.


edit on 16/2/16 by flice because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: whyamIhere

Don't we just slap them around a bit and toss them from the party?
NOT a big issue of humanity.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 05:05 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I would venture to say that anyone with or without genetic predisposition can have a psychotic episode while using psychedelics, but that as the drug dwindles in their system the episode fades as well- to the point of sobriety or clarity. There is a fine line between a psychedelic experience and a psychotic one and I think people of any flavor or shape can cross that line but once again upon dwindling levels of the chemical cessation of the experience occurs at the same time. I will also buy that their are those unfortunate few who have a genetic predisposition towards schitzophrenia or perhaps bi-polar with mania induced psychotic episodes, and that the disorders can be triggered and surfaced upon use of psychedelic substances, and that upon cessation of the chemical the episode continues and persists.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 05:25 PM
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From what I read...the study doesnt say much...I think TechX pretty much nailed it. Just my 2 cents worth.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 07:16 PM
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Now we just need a gene that can identify psycotic gun owners!



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 07:20 PM
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i dont care what anyone says, its true pot can give a mindset of repetition, but when it comes to hearing the voices, the brains reaction is where its at, some pot makes them quiet, some it makes them worse.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: solve
a reply to: Krazysh0t

..Soon there will be a strain called AKT1.


I lol'd.


Im pretty sure a lot of people have tripped on cannabis in some way in their life, regardless of this gene. Hence the term "trip out." Combine a predisposition towards panic or anxiety which both act upon our minds perceptions as well.

I mean remember those folks who thought they were dying after eating edibles?

edit on 16-2-2016 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-2-2016 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-2-2016 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 09:24 PM
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OK, and does this mean for low THC marijuana also? You know, the medical pot with low THC and high CBD, does this make people into psychos?

I think actually, most people who have pot, they don't go psycho, like they don't begin seeing demons not there, but they get the other psycho, they go really really angry for nothing! Episodes of rage. I think, this might be more problem than the other psycho. Do you know what I am talking about?

And what about those marijuana pills? Doranibol or Marinol, that what they give to AIDS people whom can't eat, there is THC in them pills, is that at risk for going crazy? Or only smoking?



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 09:59 PM
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I think it would be more interesting if it were Psychokinesis



posted on Feb, 17 2016 @ 06:45 AM
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originally posted by: wisvol
People's genome therefore determines whether the right to bear arms applies.

Not Psychosis, the risk for it. It's enough. Also pill users are immune from this, it's just the cannabis.

Who financed this discovery?



What are you talking about? The study had nothing to do with pills, so commenting on them would be intellectually dishonest. No one said that pills were immune, they just weren't part of the study.



posted on Feb, 17 2016 @ 06:46 AM
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a reply to: Helicopter

I can't say; it looks like they just determined that marijuana elevates the risk of psychosis in people with this gene. I don't think they determined if this is linked to THC or CBD though. We need more information.



posted on Feb, 17 2016 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




What are you talking about? The study had nothing to do with pills, so commenting on them would be intellectually dishonest. No one said that pills were immune, they just weren't part of the study.


your intellectual honesty is by that logic compromised by this comment

I say pills are immune because they're immune from interdiction because pharmaco owns politics enough



posted on Feb, 17 2016 @ 02:31 PM
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originally posted by: wisvol
a reply to: Krazysh0t
your intellectual honesty is by that logic compromised by this comment


Why? Because the study didn't talk about pills and you wanted to? I'm just sticking to the info in the study; I don't know how you can call my intellectual honesty into question for doing that.


I say pills are immune because they're immune from interdiction because pharmaco owns politics enough


I say this is offtopic and not about what I was talking about in my thread. This thread is about cannabis. It isn't meant to demonize cannabis; it is meant to illuminate some of the downsides of it and see what may be causing them. Pills have their own problems and negative effects on people that all require their own studies for the individual pills (after all the term "pills" encompasses quite a large range of different medications and drugs).

This thread isn't about pharmaceutical conspiracies. It's about science studying marijuana.
edit on 17-2-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



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