In this research:
- Some teens' marijuana use has been linked to disrupted communication between two key regions in the brain's reward circuitry at age 20.
- Disrupted communication between the regions was associated with poorer psychosocial functioning at age 22.
In a recent NIDA-supported study, males from low-income backgrounds who used marijuana in escalating frequency throughout their teen years exhibited disrupted connectivity at age 20 in a brain circuit that links rewarding experiences with motivation and mood. The study also found that disruption in the circuit at age 20 was associated with lower educational achievement and higher risk for depression at age 22.