Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scientists explain marijuana short-term memory loss: Marinol

Scientists explain marijuana short-term memory loss

Charles Cooper

(CNET) -- Scientists have long been puzzled to explain short-term memory loss that results from marijuana smoking. But while an open-and-shut explanation still remains elusive, a couple of neuroscientists may be getting close.

Writing in the journal Cell, Xia Zhang of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, and Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, France, came up with a working explanation by focusing on a kind of signalling mechanism called astrocytes that previously had only been considered important for protecting neurons.



Dronabinol is the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) for a pure isomer of THC, (–)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main isomer in cannabis.[81] It is sold as Marinol (a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals). Dronabinol is also marketed, sold, and distributed by PAR Pharmaceutical Companies under the terms of a license and distribution agreement with SVC pharma LP, an affiliate of Rhodes Technologies. Synthesized THC may be generally referred to as dronabinol. It is available as a prescription drug (under Marinol[82]) in several countries including the United States and Germany. In the United States, Marinol is a Schedule III drug, available by prescription, considered to be non-narcotic and to have a low risk of physical or mental dependence. Efforts to get cannabis rescheduled as analogous to Marinol have not succeeded thus far, though a 2002 petition has been accepted by the DEA. As a result of the rescheduling of Marinol from Schedule II to Schedule III, refills are now permitted for this substance. Marinol has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the treatment of anorexia in AIDS patients, as well as for refractory nausea and vomiting of patients undergoing chemotherapy, which has raised much controversy as to why natural THC is still a schedule I drug.[83]

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