Dr Sandhya Ramrakha, research manager with the Dunedin Multidisciplinary and Development Research Unit – November 2, 2017.
Almost 200 people heard Dr Ramrakha discuss findings of the world-leading Dunedin study, renowned for its breadth, depth and high retention rate of participants.
The study followed the lives of over 1000 babies born in Dunedin’s St Mary’s Hospital in the year from April 1, 1972, and its research findings have influenced and informed policymakers in New Zealand and overseas since that time.
Among its general findings:
- Persistent cannabis use starting in the teens resulted in an average eight point drop in IQ, which was not recovered on stopping its use, and serious gum disease.
- Activation of the 5HTT gene associated with depression and antisocial behaviour only occurred if the child was maltreated. So, she said, it wasn’t a case of genes versus the environment, but genes via the environment.