Bulgarian Journal of Psychiatry, 2024; 9(1):7-12

Influence of cannabis on psychopathology and cognition in Moroccan patients with schizophrenia

Hajar Rachid 1,2, Zineb Saif3, Salma Raoul1,2, Zineb Serhier1, Mohamed Agoub1,2

1 Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hassan II University, Casablanca, Morocco

2 University Psychiatric Center, Ibn Rochd, Casablanca, Morocco

3 Legal medicine service University Hospital Center, Ibn Rochd, Casablanca, Morocco

Abstract. Background: The impact of cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning and psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia is not clear. Aim: We aimed to examine the relationship between cannabis, cognition and psychopathology in a sample of Moroccan patients with schizophrenia. Material and methods: A total of 140 patients with schizophrenia were identified using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition)) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The cognitive functions were assessed using the Cogstate neuropsychological battery which evaluates seven domains. Results: Cannabis use in patients with schizophrenia is associated with improved psychomotor and executive function, as well as poorer functioning in visual memory, emotional recognition and verbal memory. The cannabis-using group had fewer negative symptoms. Conclusions: The results suggest that cannabis use may have different effects on neurocognitive functioning and psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia.

Key words: psychopathology, schizophrenia, cognitive function, cannabis, neuropsychological testing

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