A single dose of cannabidiol modulates medial temporal and striatal function during fear processing in people at clinical high risk for psychosis

 Translational Psychiatry“Emotional dysregulation and anxiety are common in people at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) and are associated with altered neural responses to emotional stimuli in the striatum and medial temporal lobe.

Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group design, 33 CHR patients were randomised to a single oral dose of CBD (600 mg) or placebo. Healthy controls (n = 19) were studied under identical conditions but did not receive any drug. Participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a fearful face-processing paradigm. Activation related to the CHR state and to the effects of CBD was examined using a region-of-interest approach.

During fear processing, CHR participants receiving placebo (n = 15) showed greater activation than controls (n = 19) in the parahippocampal gyrus but less activation in the striatum. Within these regions, activation in the CHR group that received CBD (n = 15) was intermediate between that of the CHR placebo and control groups.

These findings suggest that in CHR patients, CBD modulates brain function in regions implicated in psychosis risk and emotion processing. These findings are similar to those previously evident using a memory paradigm, suggesting that the effects of CBD on medial temporal and striatal function may be task independent.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32921794/

“This study is the first to demonstrate that a single dose of CBD modulates activation of the medial temporal cortex and striatum during fear processing in CHR patients. In showing that CBD modulates function of the neural circuitry directly implicated in psychosis onset, these results add to previous evidence that CBD may be a promising novel therapeutic for patients at CHR. Our results also support further investigation of the potential utility of CBD outside of the CHR field in other populations, such as in those with anxiety.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-020-0862-2

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