THC and CBD Could Possibly Help Patients With Alzheimer Disease
New research suggests a critical chemical in marijuana could help people with Alzheimer’s disease suffer less and live longer.
A study published in June in the scientific journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease reports that THC may alleviate certain Alzheimer’s symptoms by repairing damage to nerve cells in the brain. THC is the chemical in cannabis that gets users high, and it has been shown to provide numerous medical uses.
In experiments, researchers located that THC efficiently removed amyloid beta proteins from nerve cells, additionally referred to as neurons. those mind cells, which wide variety in the tens of billions, are responsible for every element of human life, which include emotion, reminiscence, and cognitive function – all of which can be stricken by Alzheimer’s.
Cases of dementia expected to triple by 2050
Prevalence of the disorder, a form of dementia that ends in death, is expected to triple by 2050, as an increasing share of the Baby Boom ages. The epidemic could get deeper later in the century, when the even larger Millennial generation will reach retirement ages.
Amyloid beta proteins form clumps of plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. These protein cells are thought to disrupt communications between neurons, leading to memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.
The scientists behind the study, led by Prof. David Schubert of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, changed neurons to generate excessive levels of amyloid beta. At these concentrations, amyloid beta in the brain causes cellular inflammation, which in turns kills off neurons.
“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” said Antonio Currais, another of the researchers at the Salk Institute.
Benefits Could be:
Reduction of Inflammation
Positive interactions of brain cell receptors
From the NCBI
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is frequently associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) such as agitation and aggression, especially in the moderate to severe stages of the illness. The limited efficacy and high-risk profiles of current pharmacotherapies for the management of agitation and aggression in AD have driven the search for safer pharmacological alternatives. Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in the therapeutic potential of medications that target the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The behavioural effects of ECS medications, as well as their ability to modulate neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, make targeting this system potentially relevant in AD. This article summarizes the literature to date supporting this rationale and evaluates clinical studies investigating cannabinoids for agitation and aggression in AD. Letters, case studies, and controlled trials from four electronic databases were included. While findings from six studies showed significant benefits from synthetic cannabinoids—dronabinol or nabilone—on agitation and aggression, definitive conclusions were limited by small sample sizes, short trial duration, and lack of placebo control in some of these studies. Given the relevance and findings to date, methodologically rigorous prospective clinical trials are recommended to determine the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of agitation and aggression in dementia and AD.
- 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
- 2Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave., Room FG 19, Toronto, ON, M4N 3M5, Canada.
- 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
- 4Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave., Room FG 19, Toronto, ON, M4N 3M5, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. email@example.com.