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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 11, 2007

UI Study On Marijuana Effects Seeks Males Ages 12 To 17

Male adolescents ages 12 to 17 who are current or former marijuana users are invited to participate in a University of Iowa research study examining the effects of marijuana use during adolescence on brain structure and function, and mental abilities.

The study will enroll current and former marijuana users and individuals who have little or no experience with marijuana. A parent or guardian must provide permission for a subject to participate. Participants will not be given marijuana as part of the study. Information about all participation will be treated confidentially.

The research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study will compare the performance of the participants on tests of memory, learning, thinking, attention and speed of reaction.

The study involves an initial two-hour screening visit to determine if an individual is eligible to participate. Eligible and willing participants will then attend up to three additional visits: a short visit to provide a urine sample for drug testing; a visit to complete tests on a computer and possibly provide another urine sample; and a final visit for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and possibly to provide a third urine sample. The MRI scans participants' brains as they complete cognitive tests or lie quietly. Some visits may be combined into a single visit.

All testing will be performed at UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Compensation is provided.

The study is led by Robert Block, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesia in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

For further information, call Megan Becker at 319-384-4157 or Jordan Zuccarelli at 319-335-6907.

CONTACTS: For study participants: Megan Becker at 319-384-4157 or, or Jordan Zuccarelli at 319-335-6907 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917