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by-grace-of-god:

“There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” - Pope John Paul II,  Theology of the Body

by-grace-of-god:

“There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” - Pope John Paul II,  Theology of the Body

1 day ago on April 16th, 2014 | J | 252 notes

Casual marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities in students

neurosciencestuff:

Young adults who used marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, scientists report. The study was a collaboration between Northwestern Medicine® and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

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This is the first study to show casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes. It showed the degree of brain abnormalities in these regions is directly related to the number of joints a person smoked per week. The more joints a person smoked, the more abnormal the shape, volume and density of the brain regions.

"This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences," said corresponding and co-senior study author Hans Breiter, M.D. He is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week," Breiter said. "People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case."

The study will be published April 16 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Scientists examined the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala — key regions for emotion and motivation, and associated with addiction — in the brains of casual marijuana users and non-users. Researchers analyzed three measures: volume, shape and density of grey matter (i.e., where most cells are located in brain tissue) to obtain a comprehensive view of how each region was affected.

Both these regions in recreational pot users were abnormally altered for at least two of these structural measures. The degree of those alterations was directly related to how much marijuana the subjects used.

Of particular note, the nucleus acccumbens was abnormally large, and its alteration in size, shape and density was directly related to how many joints an individual smoked.

"One unique strength of this study is that we looked at the nucleus accumbens in three different ways to get a detailed and consistent picture of the problem," said lead author Jodi Gilman, a researcher in the Massachusetts General Center for Addiction Medicine and an instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School. "It allows a more nuanced picture of the results."

Examining the three different measures also was important because no single measure is the gold standard. Some abnormalities may be more detectable using one type of neuroimaging analysis method than another. Breiter said the three measures provide a multidimensional view when integrated together for evaluating the effects of marijuana on the brain.

"These are core, fundamental structures of the brain," said co-senior study author Anne Blood, director of the Mood and Motor Control Laboratory at Massachusetts General and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "They form the basis for how you assess positive and negative features about things in the environment and make decisions about them."

Through different methods of neuroimaging, scientists examined the brains of young adults, ages 18 to 25, from Boston-area colleges; 20 who smoked marijuana and 20 who didn’t. Each group had nine males and 11 females. The users underwent a psychiatric interview to confirm they were not dependent on marijuana. They did not meet criteria for abuse of any other illegal drugs during their lifetime.

The changes in brain structures indicate the marijuana users’ brains are adapting to low-level exposure to marijuana, the scientists said.

The study results fit with animal studies that show when rats are given tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) their brains rewire and form many new connections. THC is the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana.

"It may be that we’re seeing a type of drug learning in the brain," Gilman said. "We think when people are in the process of becoming addicted, their brains form these new connections."

In animals, these new connections indicate the brain is adapting to the unnatural level of reward and stimulation from marijuana. These connections make other natural rewards less satisfying.

"Drugs of abuse can cause more dopamine release than natural rewards like food, sex and social interaction," Gilman said. "In those you also get a burst of dopamine but not as much as in many drugs of abuse. That is why drugs take on so much salience, and everything else loses its importance."

The brain changes suggest that structural changes to the brain are an important early result of casual drug use, Breiter said. “Further work, including longitudinal studies, is needed to determine if these findings can be linked to animal studies showing marijuana can be a gateway drug for stronger substances,” he noted.

Because the study was retrospective, researchers did not know the THC content of the marijuana, which can range from 5 to 9 percent or even higher in the currently available drug. The THC content is much higher today than the marijuana during the 1960s and 1970s, which was often about 1 to 3 percent, Gilman said.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. with an estimated 15.2 million users, the study reports, based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2008. The drug’s use is increasing among adolescents and young adults, partially due to society’s changing beliefs about cannabis use and its legal status.

A recent Northwestern study showed chronic use of marijuana was linked to brain abnormalities. “With the findings of these two papers,” Breiter said, “I’ve developed a severe worry about whether we should be allowing anybody under age 30 to use pot unless they have a terminal illness and need it for pain.”

1 day ago on April 16th, 2014 | J | 612 notes
Put your sins in the chalice for the precious blood to wash away. One drop is capable of washing away all the sins of the world.
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta (via acatholicvibe)
1 day ago on April 16th, 2014 | J | 27 notes
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Tori. Kelly. PYT/RockWitU. Daaang.

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 17 notes

I miss him so.

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 4,707 notes

connorkenway-thebadass:

geeksngamers:

Assassins of the Creed - by RoseCitron

It’s so fuckin’ amazing <}

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 2,995 notes
plays

Uyama Hiroto - Ribbon in the Sea

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 0 notes
1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 1 note

uglypnis:

Frost Flowers Blooming in the Arctic Ocean are Found to be Teeming with Life
1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 128 notes

anorsexic:

The Taste of Tea  (茶の味, Cha no Aji), 2004, dir. Katsuhito Ishii.

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 36,131 notes

luxuryaccommodations:

The Eagles View Suite - Finland

Spacious, luxurious and utterly unique, the Eagles View Suite at Iso Syote Hotel is a spectacular two-floor accommodation built around a growing tree. The outstanding design along with the topnotch amenities and stunning glass roof and walls that afford million dollar views of summer’s midnight sun and winter’s Northern Lights, make this space an exclusive, year-round oasis. However, Finland’s best ski boutique hotel in 2013 has much more to offer, including delightful traditional cottages, top-quality cuisine and an unparalleled choice of winter activities.

WebsiteTripAdvisor

Someone take me there.

1 week ago on April 6th, 2014 | J | 57,474 notes
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twenty two-ewww whoo hooooo

Still can’t bring myself to like this song.

#itsmybirthday #LOL

2 weeks ago on April 2nd, 2014 | J | 0 notes
3 weeks ago on March 23rd, 2014 | J | 0 notes

f-l-e-u-r-d-e-l-y-s:

In a new project called “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” French street artist Etienne Lavie makes it his mission to transform the ad space in Paris into an outdoor art gallery. He has been travelling around the city, snatching up posters and billboards, and replacing them with fine specimens of French art from an earlier era. If our senses have over-developed to the point where we need to be visually stimulated at all times outdoors, just to keep up continuity, then we might as well at least occasionally glimpse something that moves us—something we might elect to look at voluntarily. Lavie’s project gives that gift to a lucky subset of Parisian commuters.

3 weeks ago on March 23rd, 2014 | J | 4,793 notes
plays

Bloom - The Paper Kites

3 weeks ago on March 23rd, 2014 | J | 1 note