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July 16, 2008

Anandamide as a Marker of Human Disease—Reply

JAMA. 2008;300(3):281-282. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.27

In Reply: Dr Maccarrone highlights the complexity of the endocannabinoid system and the potential implications of aberrations in this system with regard to human physiology. We agree that an increased understanding of the role of endocannabinoids in physiology and pathology may help in the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, not only in reproduction but in other systems.

The endocannabinoid system appears to produce a biphasic behavioral pattern in most physiological and pathological states in which it has been studied.1 The current understanding of the precise regulation of this biphasic pattern or its significance is limited. Our data support the findings of Maccarrone et al,2 but these are only early observations. The women in our studies were healthy, and none of them had any of the disorders mentioned by Maccarrone. We endorse the call to undertake more research in this area to understand how this system is involved not only in the regulation of reproduction but in the other pathological states mentioned in his letter.