Toronto, Ontario–(ENEWSPF)–April 8, 2011. Schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate “superior neurocognitive performance” compared to non-users, according to the findings of a meta-analysis to be published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.
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Investigators at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences, performed a meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of the effect of cannabis consumption on cognition in subjects with schizophrenia. Eight studies met inclusion criteria, yielding a total sample of 942 subjects. Three hundred and fifty six of these participants were cannabis users with schizophrenia, and 586 were patients with no history of cannabis use. Neuropsychological tests were grouped into seven domains: general cognitive ability and intelligence; selective, sustained and divided attention; executive abilities; working memory and learning; retrieval and recognition; receptive and expressive language abilities and visuo-spatial and construction abilities.
Authors determined, “[R]elated statistics of differences in performance … all suggest superior cognitive functioning in cannabis-using patients as compared to non-using patient.”
Researchers stopped short of attributing subjects’ cannabis use to the improved outcome, noting that patients with superior cognitive skills may simply be more likely to acquire cannabis than subjects with lesser abilities.