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News (Media Awareness Project) - Israel: Pot May Be Used To Treat PTSD
Title:Israel: Pot May Be Used To Treat PTSD
Published On:2011-09-21
Source:Province, The (CN BC)
Fetched On:2011-09-23 06:02:05

JERUSALEM--Marijuana administered in a timely fashion could block the
development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in
rats, a new study conducted at Haifa University has found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the university's psychology
department and published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal,
found that rats that were treated with marijuana within 24 hours of a
traumatic experience, successfully avoided any symptoms of PTSD.

"There is a critical 'window of time' after trauma, during which
synthetic marijuana can help prevent symptoms similar to PTSD in
rats," said Dr. Irit Akirav who led the study.

In the first part of the experiment, rats were exposed to extreme
stress, and were found to display symptoms resembling PTSD in humans.

They were then divided into four groups, with the first given no
marijuana, the second given a marijuana injection two hours after
being exposed, the third after 24 hours and the fourth after 48
hours. The researchers examined the rats a week later and found that
the group that had not received marijuana, as well as the one that
received the injection after 48 hours, displayed PTSD symptoms and a
high level of anxiety.

Although the rats in the other two groups also displayed high levels
of anxiety, the PTSD symptoms had totally disappeared.

"This shows that the marijuana administered in the proper 'window of
time' does not erase the experience, but can help prevent the
development of PTSD symptoms in rats," Akirav said.

"We also found that the effects of the cannabinoids were mediated by
receptors in the amygdala area of the brain, known to be responsible
for mediation of stress, fear and trauma," she noted.

While a decisive parallel between emotional always be drawn, Akirav
was confident psychiatrists will take her research forward to
implement it on humans.

- - Agence France-Presse
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