Gene-Environment Interactions Underlying the Effect of Cannabis in First Episode Psychosis
Jose Maria Pelayo-Teran,
Cannabis use may be considered as an additional risk factor in a diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia where the risk of developing
the illness would be higher in genetic vulnerable people. In this regard, much of the research on cannabis and psychosis is currently
focusing on gene-environment interactions. The present review will focus on the interaction between genes and cannabis exposure
in the development of psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia and the biological mechanisms of cannabis. Cannabis use has been shown
to act together with other environmental factors such as childhood trauma or urbanicity producing synergistic dopamine sensitization effects.
Studies on gene-environment interaction have mainly included genetic variants involved in the regulation of the dopaminergic system.
The most promising genetic variants in this field are COMT, CNR1, BDNF, AKT1 and NRG1. Additionally, the interaction with
other environmental factors and possible gene-gene interactions are considered in the etiological model.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, cannabinoids, gene-environment interaction, genetics, CB1, causality, COMT
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