Neuroanatomical alterations in people with high and low cannabis dependence

Valentina Lorenzetti, Yann Chye, Chao Suo, Mark Walterfang, Dan I Lubman, Michael Takagi, Sarah Whittle, Antonio Verdejo-Garcia, Janna Cousijn, Christos Pantelis, Marc Seal, Alex Fornito, Murat Yücel, Nadia Solowij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We aimed to investigate whether severity of cannabis dependence is associated with the neuroanatomy of key brain regions of the stress and reward brain circuits. Methods: To examine dependence-specific regional brain alterations, we compared the volumes of regions relevant to reward and stress, between high-dependence cannabis users (CD+, n = 25), low-dependence cannabis users (CD−, n = 20) and controls (n = 37). Results: Compared to CD− and/or controls, the CD+ group had lower cerebellar white matter and hippocampal volumes, and deflation of the right hippocampus head and tail. Conclusion: These findings provide initial support for neuroadaptations involving stress and reward circuits that are specific to high-dependence cannabis users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Cannabis
  • caudate
  • cerebellum
  • dependence
  • hippocampus
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • neuroanatomy
  • pituitary gland

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