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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.

Why expert care is crucial for aspiration

Dr. Rachel Rosen explains her new study about aspiration
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PATRICK BIBBINS/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Aspiration, or the entrance of food or liquid into a child’s airway, is associated with oropharyngeal dysphagia and other swallowing problems. It is more common in premature babies and those with neurological abnormalities, although it can occur in any child. Parents typically bring their children to pediatricians when they observe choking, regurgitation, coughing and other symptoms related to feeding. …Read More

Learning disabilities: Kids and families struggle beyond the academics

Boy with learning disabilities struggles with homework

Most research on learning disabilities focuses on remediating specific academic skills like reading and math. But struggles at school and with homework can create an enormous amount of stress and anxiety for children and families, says neuropsychologist Deborah Waber, PhD, who directs the Learning Disabilities Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. …Read More

New guidelines for GERD: What every pediatrician should know

clinical guidelines for GERD

Spitting up is a normal occurrence for young infants — as long as a child is growing well and not developing other problems, such as breathing difficulties, the problem will resolve on its own without treatment. But how can you determine if your patient has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? New expert guidelines draw on the latest research findings to help advise specialists and primary care providers on the evaluation and treatment of GERD in infants and children.

Rachel Rosen, MD, MPH, director of the Aerodigestive Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, served as lead author on these international guidelines.

“Over the last 10 years, there has been an explosion of advances not only in our understanding the pathophysiology of reflux, but also in the diagnostic tests to evaluate reflux and problems that masquerade as reflux,” she explains. “In prior guidelines, the focus was on acid-related disease and treatment with acid suppression. We now know that gastroesophageal reflux, particularly in infants and young children, is often non-acidic, so treating patients with acid suppression is ineffective. This is a true paradigm shift.” Here, Rosen shares some highlights that every pediatrician should know.

…Read More