Cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms: Implications for prognosis in young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis

McHugh, M J, McGorry, P D, Yung, Alison R., Lin, A, Wood, S J, Hartmann, J A and Nelson, B 2017, Cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms: Implications for prognosis in young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis, Psychological medicine, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 616-626, doi: 10.1017/S0033291716002671.

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Title Cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms: Implications for prognosis in young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis
Author(s) McHugh, M J
McGorry, P D
Yung, Alison R.
Lin, A
Wood, S J
Hartmann, J A
Nelson, B
Journal name Psychological medicine
Volume number 47
Issue number 4
Start page 616
End page 626
Total pages 11
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 0033-2917
1469-8978
Keyword(s) Cannabis
psychosis
ultra-high risk
Summary Background
Cannabis use shows a robust dose-dependent relationship with psychosis risk among the general population. Despite this, it has been difficult to link cannabis use with risk for transitioning to a psychotic disorder among individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study examined UHR transition risk as a function of cannabis use characteristics which vary substantially between individuals including age of first use, cannabis abuse severity and a history of cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS).
Method
Participants were 190 UHR individuals (76 males) recruited at entry to treatment between 2000 and 2006. They completed a comprehensive baseline assessment including a survey of cannabis use characteristics during the period of heaviest use. Outcome was transition to a psychotic disorder, with mean time to follow-up of 5.0 years (range 2.4-8.7 years).
Results
A history of cannabis abuse was reported in 58% of the sample. Of these, 26% reported a history of cannabis-induced APS. These individuals were 4.90 (95% confidence interval 1.93-12.44) times more likely to transition to a psychotic disorder (p = 0.001). Greater severity of cannabis abuse also predicted transition to psychosis (p = 0.036). However, this effect was mediated by higher abuse severity among individuals with a history of cannabis-induced APS.
Conclusions
Findings suggest that cannabis use poses risk in a subpopulation of UHR individuals who manifest cannabis-induced APS. Whether this reflects underlying genetic vulnerability requires further study. Nevertheless, findings reveal an important early marker of risk with potentially significant prognostic utility for UHR individuals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0033291716002671
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1109 Neurosciences
1117 Public Health and Health Services
1701 Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30153258

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
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