Marijuana substance may help Alzheimer’s Patients: Study

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on July 05, 2016.

In a major development, the researchers at the Salk Institute in California have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which is considered a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Hence, marijuana might one day be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease, suggests the study.

"Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer's, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells," says a member of research team, David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

The Salk team studied nerve cells in vitro that were engineered to produce high levels of Aβ to mimic aspects of Alzheimer's disease and found that elevated levels of Aβ were linked with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death.

The research work of the Salk team was published in ‘Aging and Mechanisms of Disease’ this month.

Over the years, various studies have suggested that beta-amyloid plaques disrupt communication between neurons in the brain that leads to Alzheimer's, which is considered as a degenerative brain disease with symptoms of memory loss.

In the United States, as many as 5.1 million people are diagnosed with the debilitating brain disorder known as Alzheimer's disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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