rTMS Can Reduce CUD by 60% In Schizophrenia Patients
Based on the results of a first-of-its-kind study on CUD (cannabis use disorder) and schizophrenia, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can reduce the frequency of using marijuana by a whopping 60%!
Compared to the general population — seeing how as much as 9% of cannabis users can develop CUD — schizophrenia patients have higher rates of cannabis use disorder. In fact, studies show us that cannabis can worsen psychiatric symptoms for some.
Also, since there is no approved treatment for CUD, rTMS could be an effective and safe way to reduce cannabis intake among people who are suffering from schizophrenia.
Now, let’s talk more about the study.
The researchers targeted the DLPFC (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area in the brain linked to control functions like planning, task switching, working memory, and prevention of interference) with rTMS to see if it would improve participants’ executive function.
In addition to that, researchers gave the candidates five treatments over four weeks. The results show us that those who were given rTMS showed a decrease in cannabis use and cravings by an astounding 60% after only 28 days.
On that note, this study, which was supported by the NIDA (US National Institute on Drug Abuse) and the CAMH Foundation, is an important first step in developing a treatment that may help people with schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder.
The study’s authors believe that one of the biggest limitations to developing a treatment for cannabis use disorders in people with schizophrenia or other mental illnesses is that they’re usually not included when testing new drugs on their effects.