Giving up marijuana improves memory in just one week, study shows
Attention rates, however, remained the same whether smoking or not.
- 88 youngsters from Boston were recruited for the study. 55 of them managed to abstain the full 30 days.
- Memory improved one week after abstaining, although attention rates stayed the same.
- The researchers hope to conduct a six-month test.
According to a recently study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, if you stop smoking marijuana, your memory will improve. Real shocker here from the science community, folks!
88 teenagers and young people from Boston were recruited for the study, and offered 62 of them money to stop smoking marijuana for 30 days. Of those 62, 55 abstained for the full month, while the remaining seven probably thought they were suuuuper cooool by lying to the good folks at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where the test was held.
The 55 saintly individuals who didn't smoke were monitored as MJ-Abst, or marijuana abstinent. The 26 who continued to smoke marijuana (and the seven rascals who defied the medical community with their flagrant disregard to the law) were monitored as MJ-Mon, which sounds like it could be a Jamaican DJ, but in fact stands for 'Marijuana Monitored', which sounds like it could be a Canadian talk show, but isn't.
All subjects were given weekly urine tests to see whether they were following the abstinence. Memory and attention tests took place weekly for the 30-day trial.
The study itself is most clear in its findings in this paragraph:
There was an effect of abstinence on verbal memory (P = .002) that was consistent across 4 weeks of abstinence, with no time-by-abstinence interaction, and was driven by improved verbal learning in the first week of abstinence. MJ-Abst participants had better memory overall and at weeks 1, 2, 3 than MJ-Mon participants, and only MJ-Abst participants improved in memory from baseline to week 1. There was no effect of abstinence on attention: both groups improved similarly, consistent with a practice effect.
Translated into humanspeak, this means that memory functions improved significantly after about a week for the 55 good souls who managed to eke out a full month without the devil's cabbage, while the 26 who kept on tokin' (plus the seven trouble-makin' ne-er-do-wells who basically got paid to smoke weed, despite breaking the rules) saw only small improvements in memory in the tests. According to the lead researcher of the study, Randi Schuster, this could most likely be attributed to getting used to the test, reports New Scientist.
The study also means that memory quickly goes back to pre-marijuana use levels within just a couple of days of not smoking. Ultimately, this means that people can learn better when they're not using marijuana, which is stated explicitly by Randi Schuster in a press release (which is behind a paywall):
"The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis. The second – which is the good news part of the story – is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops."
U.S. News reports that the Boston team wants to conduct a six-month trial next, to see more long-term effects.
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- How Does Cannabis Affect Your Memory? | Leafly ›
- Young people's memories improved when they stopped using ... ›
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Technology may soon grant us immortality, in a sense. Here's how.
- Through the Connectome Project we may soon be able to map the pathways of the entire human brain, including memories, and create computer programs that evoke the person the digitization is stemmed from.
- We age because errors build up in our cells — mitochondria to be exact.
- With CRISPR technology we may soon be able to edit out errors that build up as we age, and extend the human lifespan.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
The pizza giant Domino's partners with a Silicon Valley startup to start delivering pizza by robots.
- Domino's partnered with the Silicon Valley startup Nuro to have robot cars deliver pizza.
- The trial run will begin in Houston later this year.
- The robots will be half a regular car and will need to be unlocked by a PIN code.
Would you have to tip robots? You might be answering that question sooner than you think as Domino's is about to start using robots for delivering pizza. Later this year a fleet of self-driving robotic vehicles will be spreading the joy of pizza throughout the Houston area for the famous pizza manufacturer, using delivery cars made by the Silicon Valley startup Nuro.
The startup, founded by Google veterans, raised $940 million in February and has already been delivering groceries for Kroger around Houston. Partnering with the pizza juggernaut Domino's, which delivers close to 3 million pizzas a day, is another logical step for the expanding drone car business.
Kevin Vasconi of Domino's explained in a press release that they see these specially-designed robots as "a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey," adding "The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."
How will they work exactly? Nuro explained in its own press release that this "opportunity to use Nuro's autonomous delivery" will be available for some of the customers who order online. Once they opt in, they'll be able to track the car via an app. When the vehicle gets to them, the customers will use a special PIN code to unlock the pizza compartment.
Nuro and its competitors Udelv and Robomart have been focusing specifically on developing such "last-mile product delivery" machines, reports Arstechnica. Their specially-made R1 vehicle is about half the size of a regular passenger car and doesn't offer any room for a driver. This makes it safer and lighter too, with less potential to cause harm in case of an accident. It also sticks to a fairly low speed of under 25 miles an hour and slams on the breaks at the first sign of trouble.
What also helps such robot cars is "geofencing" technology which confines them to a limited area surrounding the store.
For now, the cars are still tracked around the neighborhoods by human-driven vehicles, with monitors to make sure nothing goes haywire. But these "chase cars" should be phased out eventually, an important milestone in the evolution of your robot pizza drivers.
Check out how Nuro's vehicles work:
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