Last updated on: 11/1/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Marc de Hert, PhD, MD Biography

Title:
Clinical Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist in the University Psychiatric Centre at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“BACKGROUND: Cannabis use may decrease age at onset in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, given the evidence for substantial phenotypic and genetic overlap between both disorders.

RESULTS: Cannabis and other substance use was more frequent in patients with schizophrenia compared to the bipolar group. Both cannabis use and a schizophrenia diagnosis predicted earlier age at onset. There was a significant interaction between cannabis use and diagnosis, cannabis having a greater effect in bipolar patients. Age at onset in users of cannabis was comparable in both diagnostic groups whereas bipolar non-users were significantly older than schizophrenia non-users at onset.

CONCLUSION: Cannabis use may decrease age at onset in both schizophrenia and bipolar patients and reduce the effect of diagnosis. This is consistent with the view that cannabis use may unmask a pre-existing genetic liability that is partly shared between patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”

“Effects of Cannabis Use on Age at Onset in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder,” Schizophrenia Research, Mar. 2011

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Clinical Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, University Psychiatric Centre, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
  • Adjunct Clinic Head, University Psychiatric Centre, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Professor, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Education:
  • MD, University of Antwerpen, date unknown
  • PhD, Biomedical Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 1995
Other:
  • None found