Bayesian causal network modeling suggests adolescent cannabis use accelerates prefrontal cortical thinning

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • IMAGEN Consortium - (Autor:in)
  • Neuroimaging Center
  • Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
  • Fakultät Psychologie
  • University of Vermont
  • Université de Rennes 1
  • Adult University Psychiatry Department
  • CentraleSupélec
  • Laureate Institute for Brain Research
  • Universität Heidelberg
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • King's College London (KCL)
  • Universität Mannheim
  • Université Paris-Saclay
  • University of Nottingham
  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
  • École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay
  • Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)
  • Université de Bordeaux
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Toronto
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Fudan University


While there is substantial evidence that cannabis use is associated with differences in human brain development, most of this evidence is correlational in nature. Bayesian causal network (BCN) modeling attempts to identify probable causal relationships in correlational data using conditional probabilities to estimate directional associations between a set of interrelated variables. In this study, we employed BCN modeling in 637 adolescents from the IMAGEN study who were cannabis naïve at age 14 to provide evidence that the accelerated prefrontal cortical thinning found previously in adolescent cannabis users by Albaugh et al. [1] is a result of cannabis use causally affecting neurodevelopment. BCNs incorporated data on cannabis use, prefrontal cortical thickness, and other factors related to both brain development and cannabis use, including demographics, psychopathology, childhood adversity, and other substance use. All BCN algorithms strongly suggested a directional relationship from adolescent cannabis use to accelerated cortical thinning. While BCN modeling alone does not prove a causal relationship, these results are consistent with a body of animal and human research suggesting that adolescent cannabis use adversely affects brain development.


FachzeitschriftTranslational psychiatry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Dez. 2022

Externe IDs

PubMed 35523763
ORCID /0000-0001-5398-5569/work/150329531
ORCID /0000-0002-8493-6396/work/150330254