Last updated on: 10/31/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Verity C. Leeson, MD, PhD Biography

Title:
Honorary Research Associate at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“Objective: Cannabis use is associated with a younger age at onset of psychosis, an indicator of poor prognosis, but better cognitive function, a positive prognostic indicator. We aimed to clarify the role of age at onset and cognition on outcomes in cannabis users with first-episode schizophrenia as well as the effect of cannabis dose and cessation of use… Conclusions: Cannabis use brings forward the onset of psychosis in people who otherwise have good prognostic features indicating that an early age at onset can be due to a toxic action of cannabis rather than an intrinsically more severe illness. Many patients abstain over time, but in those who persist, psychosis is more difficult to treat.”

“The Effect of Cannabis Use and Cognitive Reserve on Age at Onset and Psychosis Outcomes in First-Episode Schizophrenia,” Schizophrenia Bulletin, Mar. 9, 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:
  • Honorary Research Associate, University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology, June 7, 2010-present
  • Former Clinical Trials Manager, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London
Education:
  • MD, school and date unknown
  • PhD, University of Hertfordshire, 2004
Other:
  • None found