New analysis from a pair of neurologists at the University of Dublin insists cannabis could be the key to fighting dysfunctions of the ageing brain.
As the brain gets older, it becomes more sensitive to degenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Although several areas of the brain are impaired, what bears both conditions is the progressive death of brain cells.
While a number of therapies can be designated, specialists have yet to develop strategies that can slow or cure these disorders. However, specialist momentarily believes composites that target the body’s marijuana pathways, known as the endocannabinoid system (‘endo’ stands for endogenous), could lead to the development of such treatments.
The accent of the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration,” wrote University of Dublin researchers Veronica Campbell, PhD and Steven Fagan, PhD current month in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
The endocannabinoid regularity has been rated as a potential therapeutic target against neurodegeneration as a number of modifications in the endocannabinoid system have been noted in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease,” they extended.
According to the pair, investigations have already illustrated the promise of THC, the main compound in cannabis, in contriving a number of Alzheimer’s related symptoms:
“Dronabinol, acquired from the phytocannabinoid THC, is beneficial in subduing anorexia, improving body weight and adjusting behaviour in elderly Alzheimer’s disease patients. Dronabinol has more recently been exacted in a pilot study with Alzheimer’s patients where it advanced nocturnal motor activity and compressed agitation and aggression, without undesired side effects.”
What’s more, earlier studies found THC could prevent the loss of dopamine neurons in animal models of Parkinson’s. “The endocannabinoid system is considered to be a promising therapeutic target for slowing disease progression and ameliorating Parkinsonian symptoms,” the researchers note.
“The endocannabinoid system is acknowledged to be a hopeful therapeutic objective”Moreover, Dr Fagan and Dr Campbell say that comparisons point to “the alteration of multiple components of the endocannabinoid system in the progress of Huntington’s disease,” a movement disorder that shares a number of similarities with Parkinson’s. Although trials involving herbal cannabis as a treatment for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s are lacking, the authors highlight research on a cannabis-based pharmaceutical, Sativex, as an example of its therapeutic promise.
“Preclinical searches have investigated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), combined with THC, in the form of the cannabis-based medicine Sativex, which is now used as a therapeutic agent for multiple sclerosis,” they wrote.
Sativex has been analysed in patients with multiple sclerosis and is currently available in 25 countries for the treatment of MS-related symptoms. Though, the drug’s potential to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease has been noted as well.
Preceding research has recommended both the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of marijuana as key factors in its protective effects.
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Tags: Alzheimer's, Health, Parkinson's