GRANT NUMBER:  R01 DA035482-02S1

ABSTRACT:  This Administrative Supplement proposal to Promote Collaborative Research on Addiction at NIH (CRAN) seeks to examine the compounding effects of ethyl alcohol (EtOH; “alcohol”) on those produced by Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a monkey model of complex cognitive function. The parent project (R1 DA035482; Taffe, PI) was proposed to address the fact that cannabis is the most popular illicit psychoactive recreational drug used in the US across adult age groups (Johnston et al. 2011b) and about 5% of high school seniors have reported daily use of cannabis for the past decade (Johnston et al. 2011a). Similarly, the use and abuse of alcohol among adolescent and adult populations remains a significant and continuing problem (Johnston et al. 2012). In 2012, 11% of 8th graders, 27.6% of 10th graders and 41.5% of 12th graders reported consuming alcohol within the 30 days prior to the survey (Johnston et al. 2012). The majority of 12th graders who use alcohol report having been “drunk” and more than half report consuming 5 or more drinks (“binge” or “heavy drinking”) on at least one occasion in the prior two weeks (ibid). Since alcohol and marijuana use often begins in adolescence, consumption during this critical period of brain development may have particularly profound effects on brain function. Although human studies report that chronic heavy drinking is associated with adverse effects on the central nervous system and brain functioning (Tapert et al. 2001) it is also the case that those at familial risk for later alcohol abuse may exhibit pre-morbid cognitive deficits (Tapert and Brown 2000). Therefore the direction of causality linking alcohol and cannabis exposure with poor cognition is difficult to establish in humans and animal models are required to determine the mechanisms by which chronic alcohol and cannabis may interfere with cognitive development and function. This CRAN proposal seeks to add an additional Specific Aim to the project to investigate the effects of co-morbid alcohol and THC use


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