An active compound found in the cannabis plant called tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, has recently been found to promote elimination of toxic amyloid beta protein clumps in the brain, which are believed to be the precursors of Alzheimer’s disease.
These results support the results of previous studies, which found evidence of the protective effects of THC cannabinoids, including in patients with neurodegenerative disease.
According to the paper’s lead author David Schubert of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, “Although other studies have provided evidence that cannabinoids may be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, we believe that our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and accumulation of amyloid beta in the nerve cells. “
What exactly is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that eventually leads to extreme and severe loss of memory can interfere with a person’s ability to care for themselves and perform routine tasks. According to the National Institutes of Health, which affects more than 5 million Americans and is a leading cause of death. It is also the most common cause of dementia. It is expected that the incidence of the disease will triple over the next 50 years.
The researchers tested the effects of THC on human neurons grown in the laboratory that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. Researchers are still not sure what exactly causes the disease, but it is believed to occur from an accumulation of injury, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between neurons as dense clusters of molecules of beta-amyloid, which are a type of adhesive protein can be grouped easily together, and neurofibrillary tangles are caused by proteins defective tau agglutinate thick, insoluble mass within neurons.
Currently, it is not clear why these lesions occur in the brain in the first place, but there have been some studies linking inflammation of brain tissue proliferation plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Researchers hope that if they can find a way to clean the plates and reduce inflammation of brain tissue, are closer to creating an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
“Inflammation in the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but always assumed that this response was from immune cells and in the brain, not nerve cells in yes, “says one of the team, Antonio Currais.
“When we have been able to identify the molecular basis of inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became apparent that the compounds THC-like nerve cells that make themselves may be involved in the protection of cells from dying. ”
In 2006, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute were able to find that THC causes inhibition of the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking of the enzyme in the brain that is responsible for producing them.
Another study conducted in Australia mice that were bred to mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and gave CBD cannabis. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid caused a dramatic improvement in memory in mice tested. Although further study is needed, early results are showing signs of improved memory and physical results will be made next test.
“Cannabinoids are the first and only class of drugs that have never been effective,” said Gary Wenk, a professor of neurology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University.
Although this research has an interesting potential for future treatments, so far only been demonstrated in neurons in the laboratory and not in a real human brain . The next step for Schubert and his team will be to observe the link between THC and reducing plaque buildup and inflammation in a clinical trial. It is important to realize that there is hope, however, for the treatment of this increasingly common degenerative disease.
Source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/07/06/compound-in-cannabis-shown-to-remove-toxic-alzheimers-protein- from-the-brain /