Marijuana use and psychotic disorders in teens: Is there a correlation?

Teen smoking marijuana
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

Marijuana use during adolescence is highly correlated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic disorder, and marijuana is thought to play at least a partial causal role in this relationship.

In a study published today in JAMA Pediatrics, we found that among adolescents presenting for routine medical care who reported marijuana use in the past year, approximately four in 10 reported experiencing at least one psychotic symptom during or shortly after using marijuana. While the neurological mechanisms of these symptoms are not well understood, our findings are concerning and need to be studied further.

This study is the first to document the rate of psychotic symptoms experienced during marijuana use; our findings can be considered a baseline for comparison as the variety, strength and formulation of marijuana-based products proliferates.

Read the study in JAMA Pediatrics and learn more about Boston Children’s Adolescent Substance Abuse and Addiction Program (ASAP).

About our experts:

Dr. Sharon Levy headshot

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, is the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and an associate professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Elissa Weitzman headshotElissa Weitzman, ScD, MSc, is an associate scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Should transgender patients halt hormones before surgery?

hormone therapy
IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

Clinicians generally recommend that patients discontinue use of exogenous hormones such as estrogen and testosterone before undergoing surgical procedures, due to the potential increased risk of blood clots and other complications. Yet there’s little evidence to support this practice in transgender people, according to a new systematic review by Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, and her colleagues in the Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. In fact, there may be possible psychological harm in requiring trans patients to halt hormone therapy, she says. …Read More

HIV and AIDS in Africa: Continuing the conversation through music

HIV and AIDS awareness concert in Zambia
“Worth More” concert in Zambia, Africa hosted by Boston Children’s Global Health Program

Today is World AIDS Day. The number of people living with HIV in the world is roughly equal to the population of Canada. HIV still disproportionately affects Africa — of the 37 million people globally who are living with HIV, 19.6 million live in eastern and southern Africa. …Read More

Effective use of antibiotics starts with a complete allergy history

Effective antibiotic use starts with allergy history
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

This week is Antibiotic Awareness Week, a week focused on using antibiotics appropriately to provide the best clinical outcomes and avoid antibiotic resistance.

As physicians who care for patients with antibiotic resistant infections and those with antibiotic allergies, we know that there are real clinical advantages to being able to use “narrow” beta-lactam antibiotics such as amoxicillin. In fact, for many diagnoses, patients have better outcomes when they are treated with beta-lactam antibiotics that are targeted to their specific bacteria.  …Read More