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Cannabis and Alzheimer’s

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Cannabis and Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Disease is defined as: a progressive neurologic disease of your brain which leads to the irreversible loss of neurons and dementia. The clinical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease are progressive impairment in memory, judgment, decision making, orientation to physical surroundings, and language.

Alzheimer’s is regarded as the common of the neurodegenerative diseases and makes up about two-thirds of cases of dementia. In other words, this condition isn’t just a personal disaster but, with baby boomers entering their sixties now, a potential collective time-bomb too.

Back in 2005 researchers from Madrid’s Complutense University and the Cajal Institute, published articles in the Journal of Neuroscience showing that a synthetic cannabinoid seemed to reduce brain inflammation in Alzheimer’s. Reduction of the inflammation helps to avoid the mental decline connected with this condition.

Three years later, in March 2008, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of The united kindom unveiled research showing that cannabis-based treatments could improve loss of memory in Alzheimer’s sufferers. Spanish researchers, this time around working with a research team from Israel, had discovered that one of the 400 compounds contained in the marijuana plant could significantly slow memory problems brought on by the disease. A by-product of their research was finding that the same drug can also help Type 1 diabetes (formerly referred to as insulin dependent diabetes).

In December 2008, outcomes of a study showing that it’s the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis seems to help in Alzheimer’s disease were published. Medics are stuck in deep debate concerning the role inflammation of the brain plays in Alzheimer’s, although many researchers believe it plays an important role in the dementia process.
You might ask, if reduction of inflammation is all it takes to halt mental decline related to Alzheimer’s, why doesn’t taking an anti-inflammatory, for instance ibuprofen, help the condition? Well, although drugs such as this have been demonstrated in tests to help youngbrains, it appears that they do little, if anything, to help older brains.

The amazing fact about the substance isolated from marijuana, which goes under the very prosaic title of WIN-55,212-2, is that not only will it reduce inflammation additionally, it energizes the growth of new brain cells.

According to Gary Wenk, Ph.D., author on the December 2008 study and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University, “a puff is enough.” He procedes to say that even though this dose would possibly have some kind of psychoactive effect strictly medical use is not ruled out. The drug could be taken before going to bed, Wenk says, together with long-term use, ability to tolerate these psychoactive effects can develop, so impairment might be minimal using a steady dose anyway.

The final word must go to Don Abrams, M.D., chief of hematology/oncology at San fran General Hospital, that has studied medicinal marijuana use in people with HIV for more than a decade:

“Cannabis is anti-inflammatory and it is also an antioxidant, and those are two things which we seek in treating neurodegenerative disorders. It’s there, it’s in nature, if the research does find that it has these benefits, why not take advantage of it?”

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