New study hyperlinks marijuana use to gene modifications in sperm

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Marijuana use seems to impact a gene in sperm that is related with autism, according to a new study carried out by researchers at Duke University.

Published in the journal Epigenetics, the study’s authors say they demonstrated that cannabis use is connected with widespread DNA methylation modifications in human and rat sperm. The modifications, scientists say, may possibly be passed on to the subsequent generation. 

“This study is the initially to demonstrate an association among a man’s cannabis use and modifications of a gene in sperm that has been implicated in autism,” senior author Susan Murphy of the Duke University College of Medicine stated. 

As component of a preceding study, Murphy and her colleagues showed various gene alterations in the sperm of guys who consume weed. The new analysis focuses on Discs-Massive Connected Protein two gene, which has been shown to be related with autism. 

“We identified substantial hypomethylation at DLGAP2 in the sperm of guys who utilized marijuana compared to controls, as properly as in the sperm of rats exposed to THC compared to controls,”  lead author Rose Schrott commented on the final results. 

Nevertheless, the study has particular limitations, the researchers noted. “The sample size was compact, which may well limit generalization of the study findings,” they stated, adding that they did not account for possible variables such as way of life habits, diet program, sleep, workouts as their influence on the sperm DNA methylome is “largely unknown.” 

In conclusion, Murphy stated that the findings warrant additional analysis as cannabis’s reputation continues to develop.

“There’s a perception that marijuana is benign. A lot more research are necessary to ascertain irrespective of whether that is accurate,” she pointed out. 

A distinctive side of marijuana and autism 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad variety of circumstances characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication. Though there is no identified remedy, there are distinctive approaches to managing its symptoms. 

Earlier this year, a study carried out by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Healthcare Centre in Israel indicated healthcare marijuana seems to relieve some symptoms of autism issues.

The analysis published in Scientific Reports in January showed 30% of sufferers reported substantial improvement in symptoms such as seizures, tics, rage attacks and other individuals following getting treated with “cannabis oil containing 30 % cannabidiol oil (CBD) and 1.five % tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).” Meanwhile, 53.7% stated they skilled moderate improvement. 

Back in the United States, the Ohio State Healthcare Board lately rejected such as autism and anxiousness as qualifying circumstances for healthcare marijuana therapy. In the rest of the nation, 13 states enable treating symptoms of autism spectrum disorder with healthcare marijuana.

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