- Basal ganglia
To date, there has been little work describing the neurochemical profile of young, heavy marijuana users. In this study, we examined 27 young-adult marijuana users and 26 healthy controls using single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy on a 3 T scanner. The voxel was placed in the dorsal striatum, and estimated concentrations of glutamate + glutamine, myo-inositol, taurine + glucose, total choline and total N-acetylaspartate were examined between groups. There were no overall group effects, but two metabolites showed group by sex interactions. Lower levels of glutamate + glutamine (scaled to total creatine) were observed in female, but not male, marijuana users compared to controls. Higher levels of myo-inositol were observed in female users compared to female non-users and to males in both groups. Findings are discussed in relation to patterns of corticostriatal connectivity and function, in the context of marijuana abuse.