Effects of prenatal marijuana on response inhibition: an fMRI study of young adults.Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2004 Jul-Aug; 26(4):533-42.NT
The neurophysiological effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on response inhibition were assessed in 18- to 22-year-olds. Thirty-one participants from the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS) performed a blocked design Go/No-Go task while neural activity was imaged with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The OPPS is a longitudinal study that provides a unique body of information collected from each participant over 20 years, including prenatal drug history, detailed cognitive/behavioral performance from infancy to young adulthood, and current and past drug usage. The fMRI results showed that with increased prenatal marijuana exposure, there was a significant increase in neural activity in bilateral prefrontal cortex and right premotor cortex during response inhibition. There was also an attenuation of activity in left cerebellum with increased prenatal exposure to marijuana when challenging the response inhibition neural circuitry. Prenatally exposed offspring had significantly more commission errors than nonexposed participants, but all participants were able to perform the task with more than 85% accuracy. These findings were observed when controlling for present marijuana use and prenatal exposure to nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, and suggest that prenatal marijuana exposure is related to changes in neural activity during response inhibition that last into young adulthood.