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Marijuana May Become A Cure For Alzheimer's, Study

Cannabis research provides medical solutions for a wide range of diseases, and study findings have revealed that marijuana may be the key to curing the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease [1].

Marijuana And Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to perform simple tasks. In most cases, those with the late-onset type of the disease experience symptoms in their mid-60s. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. The symptoms can, however, be temporarily alleviated with certain medicines [2].

How does marijuana affect the brain?

Cannabis contains compounds that alter the brain as well as the body. Cannabis affects cannabinoid receptors in the brain that control learning, memory, appetite, coordination, and pleasure. By stimulating those receptors, marijuana affects your mind [3].

So, how is it beneficial for Alzheimer's?

The accumulation of proteins on neurons may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Beta-amyloid is one of these proteins that can accumulate in the brain as we age. According to the study findings, marijuana may be able to cure Alzheimer's disease.

According to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, intracellular beta-amyloid initiates a toxic inflammatory response that results in cell death. Both psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as THC, which get you high, stimulate the removal of beta-amyloid, inhibit inflammation, and protect the body [4][5].

The accumulation of intracellular beta-amyloid proteins causes an inflammatory response within nerve cells. The accumulation of proteins in nerve cells leads to early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This disease can be cured by stimulating the brain's cannabinoid receptors.

"Cell death can only be completely prevented by 5-LOX inhibitors, cannabinoids, and caspase inhibitors. However, once the cell death process is underway, death can be reduced by some prostaglandins," the researchers said.

Other studies on cannabis and Alzheimer's:

  • Some clinical trials have shown that cannabis can help manage behavioural symptoms associated with dementia, including agitation and aggression [6][7].
  • Several studies have examined the effects of cannabinoids (including THC and synthetic nabilone) on behavioural symptoms, but further research is needed [8][9].
  • Alzheimer Society Research Program has funded research on how endocannabinoids affect mood and anxiety in dementia and how synthetic cannabinoid nabilone can reduce agitation in Alzheimer's patients [10].

On A Final Note...

Research on the effects of cannabis is ongoing, but there is currently no evidence that cannabis is useful for the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, reducing Alzheimer's agitation is still far from establishing that THC can slow and even reverse cognitive decline. However, researchers are optimistic that the benefits will also be extended to memory restoration.

Some evidence suggests that long-term use of cannabis may be harmful and result in memory impairment.

Story first published: Friday, July 29, 2022, 21:02 [IST]
Read more about: marijuana alzheimers
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