A group of Toronto researchers say cocaine use in teens could potentially have major effects on their still-developing brains.
Scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children used mice to test the effects of chronic cocaine use, finding that the drug changed the size and shape of regions in the frontal lobe, thought to be key areas for learning and memory.
Previously, experts have questioned whether young people, whose brains are organized differently, tend to be more vulnerable to cocaine or other.
Researchers have also questioned whether drugs, and cocaine specifically, could actually alter the brain’s structure and hardware.
While the study was conducted on mice, and therefore can not necessarily be generalized to humans, the scientists say they are now closer to proving that cocaine can indeed have major structural effects.
The findings are set to be published in the academic journal the ‘Journal of Neuroscience’.