How/why Marijuana Can Be An Effective Treatment For Dementia
Theres been an association between cannabis and memory problems for quite some time. Therefore, its only natural youd be a little concerned with potential side effects it may cause to your loved one when using it to treat their cognitive decline.
Although its true marijuana can bring on short-term memory loss you forget things at the moment when the herb is active in your system the only long-term memory loss issues its demonstrated has been in those who use the herb regularly over a span of several years. Studies now demonstrate THC may delay Alzheimers plaque better than medications presently on the market today.
The endocannabinoid system is gaining a lot of research interest in its role as a possible target for Alzheimers disease treatment. Research is showing certain cannabis components like THC seem to eliminate Alzheimers amyloid clumps from lab-grown nerve cells. In fact, in one study, researchers gave mice with Alzheimers symptoms a CBD and THC combo. Results of this experiment showed fewer amyloid clumps in the mices bodies and improved learning.
Certain drugs help with symptoms of dementia like confusion and memory loss to a certain extent. These drugs include:
The problem is, they also come with horrible side effects that can affect the entire body. For instance, a lot of these drugs act similar to insecticides and nerve agents, and they can cause side effects like:
- Increased confusion
Can Medical Marijuana Help With Seizure Disorders
Medical marijuana received a lot of attention a few years ago when parents said that a special form of the drug helped control seizures in their children. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, which is made from CBD, as a therapy for people with very severe or hard-to-treat seizures. In studies, some people had a dramatic drop in seizures after taking this drug.
Cannabis For Alzheimers Visit Our Calgary And Edmonton Medical Cannabis Clinics
Our Calgary and Edmonton cannabis prescribing doctors can help suggest a treatment plan to help manage your dementia symptoms. Our team will guide you in selecting a licensed producer as well as the registration.
Appointments for Alberta residents are free and covered by Alberta Health Services. Prior to your medical consultation with one of our licensed physicians, you will be educated on how medical cannabis works in our body and how it reacts to our endocannabinoid system.
During your education session with a Cann-Expert, you will learn:
At the time of your consultation, your Revolution Medical Cannabis doctor will review your medical history and ensure that cannabis will not conflict with any medications youre currently taking.
Treating dementia is a multidisciplinary approach your doctor may also refer you and your family to a psychologist to help deal with behavioural symptoms.
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Traditional Alzheimers Disease Treatments
While there is no known cure for Alzheimers disease, there are a few conventional medications and treatments aimed at slowing disease progression. The two FDA-approved classes of drugs for Alzheimers disease are:
1. Cholinesterase Inhibitors: These drug types boost the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a role in learning and encoding new memories. Patients with Alzheimers disease have depleted levels of acetylcholine. Cholinesterase inhibitors can control symptoms such as agitation and depression.
Prescription cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimers disease include:
- Cognex ,
Does Marijuana Cause Alzheimers
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, and it showed that people with a marijuana use disorder had reduced blood flow in almost every area of the brain, compared to controls who didnt use marijuana. The research showed the hippocampus area of the brain had the biggest reduction in blood flow because of marijuana. The hippocampus is the part of our brain associated with memory and learning, and in people who have Alzheimers, its the first area of the brain thats affected.
When you use marijuana, and it reduces blood flow to the brain, it reduces the amount of oxygen that can reach brain cells, which can result in damage to the tissues and even death.
Researchers believe that marijuana also blocks activity in the brain which prevents the formation of memories.
The results of this study dont show definitively that marijuana can cause Alzheimers, but it should give marijuana users a bit of hesitance.
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Is Medical Marijuana Right For Dementia Patients
Medical marijuana is all the rage these days. Youve undoubtedly seen claims about how it can help with pain, sleep, chronic diseases and much more. Now there is discussion it might improve some dementia symptoms. Danielle Goldfarb, MD, a neurologist and psychologist at the Banner Alzheimers Institute, says the limited studies on medical marijuanas effects on dementia show some promise.
There is not much research yet, but what we do have suggests that marijuana can have a calming effect on some of the behavioral symptoms of dementia, says Dr. Goldfarb. The synthetic form, Nabilone, also showed positive results in one recent study.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers Disease is a progressive neurological disease of the brain that leads to the irreversible loss of neurons. As a degenerative brain disease, Alzheimers slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
Its also the most common cause of dementia among older people. Dementia is a group of brain disorders characterized by impaired intellectual, social and cognitive abilities. Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia and accounts for an estimated 50-70% of all dementia cases.
Alzheimers disease affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans. By 2010, Alzheimers had become the sixth leading cause of death in America. It is now the fifth leading cause of death in people 65 years and older.
Alzheimers disease typically begins with mild or subtle symptoms that worsen over time. Generally, symptoms begin after the age of 60. Its almost exclusively a disease that affects older people. Based on recent research, many experts believe the changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimers actually start more than 20 years before the initial symptoms start.
There is no cure for Alzheimers disease and there is no proven treatment to slow its progression. However, doctors commonly prescribe several medicines that may help improve the mental function of people with Alzheimers disease, such as donepezil and tacrine.
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Medical Marijuana For Better World
Cannabis is known to effectively treat various diseases, from cancer toepilepsy, even to multiple sclerosis. Cannabis along with a collection ofcannabinoids and terpenes as active and therapeutic chemicals found in theseplants. In fact, it could work at a higher level than the needs of one diseaseor condition. Becauseof the simultaneous effects of these substances, the entire cannabis plant isable to adapt to the specific needs of individual endocannabinoid systems,which often perform simple miracles by not directly fighting disease. Byincreasing the bodys natural immune system, marijuana can defend against thesediseases. One of the most popular diseases that can be good after cannbis isCrohns didease. Crohns disease , is one of the conditions most often exemplified by the medicalmarijuana community. The disease itself today has been recorded in thedigestive tract of more than half a million people in North America, which is acause of stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stools, and extreme weightloss. This can also have a serious impact on the skin, eyes and can causearthritis .
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Medical Marijuana For Dementia
According to an article in alzheimers.com.uk, behavioral symptoms of dementia including aggression and agitation are being managed successfully with cannabis. Evidence also suggests that marijuana can be effective in reducing the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimers patients.
Frontiers in Pharmacology recently published a research paper claiming that CBD seems to relieve some of the symptoms of Alzheimers disease. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Furthermore, THC, the compound in marijuana that causes a high, has also been shown to help protect neurons from damage. The report also cited other benefits such as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids.
In the end, the researchers found that cannabis does, indeed, help to mitigate the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimers.
Further reports suggest that CBD actually promotes neurogenesis the growth and development of neurons. One study, conducted on mice with Alzheimers disease resulted in a significant reduction in neurodegeneration. Moreover, many of the subjects that were treated with cannabis over the course of eight months actually regained some measure of social recognition.
Another preliminary study took place at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies . Researchers there harvested human brain tissue with amyloid plaques and exposed them to CBD and THC. Amazingly, the toxic proteins were eradicated and the neurons remained viable.
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Ongoing And Future Clinical Studies
While researchers have obtained promising results from small-scale clinical testing, the time for rigorous, large-scale clinical studies is here. Several organizations around the world are preparing to undertake these studies, the results of which will provide a much clearer explanation of exactly how cannabis compounds impact the onset and development of Alzheimers Disease in humans.
- Kings College London will run a clinical study on the effect of THC and CBD on dementia patients in Fall 2019. The study is particularly focused on reducing agitation and aggression in dementia patients, which are common obstacles to effectively rendering further treatment and ensuring patient compliance. The studys lead researchers hope that oral cannabis will prove itself to be a viable alternative to antipsychotic drugs.
- The Spier Family Foundation is funding studies alongside MIND , with research aimed specifically at targeting sufferers of Alzheimers Disease. The study seeks to determine which cannabis compounds are most effective towards treating Alzheimers and whether the main psychoactive compound, THC, is therapeutically valuable.
There is currently no clinical study planned for determining the impact of CBD alone on Alzheimers patients. With luck, the results of the two studies now underway will inspire researchers to look into the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids, which may offer the secret to treating dementia in a safe, low-cost manner.
A Long And Winding Road
Schuberts current study of THC got started about 10 years with a drug candidate he derived from curcumin, the main ingredient of the Indian curry spice turmeric.
The Indian population doesnt get much Alzheimers, noted Schubert. The existing molecular structure of curcumin was lousy, so he and his colleagues refined and strengthened it, creating a drug they refer to as J147.
Experimenting on a large number of animal models with different diseases , Schuberts team discovered J147 reduces inflammation and decreases damage to nerve system cells in the rodents modeling Alzheimers disease.
To raise money from funders, though, he had to explain exactly what made J147 effective. Conducting more experiments with the drug, he and his colleagues discovered it worked through a pathway of cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system, which was named after the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa, helps diverse cells communicate and coordinate.
And thats what got us into this marijuana thing, said Schubert, explaining that once they knew the drug had a cannabinoid-like effect, they went to the source, marijuana, to see if its own cannabinoid, THC, did the same thing as J147.
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What Is Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.
The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.
How Does Medical Marijuana Help Alzheimers Disease
According to a preclinical study, small doses of tetrahydrocannabinol , a chemical found in marijuana, can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins. Beta-amyloid proteins are one of the key contributors to the progression of Alzheimers.
Another study also found that THC and some other compounds present in marijuana can reduce the amount of beta-amyloid proteins found in the brain. According to this study, when beta-amyloid proteins get exposed to THC, it reduces their levels in the brain, stops the inflammatory response from the nerve cells caused by the beta-amyloid proteins, and allows the nerve cells to survive. According to the United Kingdoms Alzheimers society, cannabis or its components can counteract symptoms such as agitation and aggression.
However, the Alzheimers Association in the United States has stated that marijuana is still an untested drug for Alzheimers disease. Its potential effectiveness and safety profile have not been thoroughly evaluated in clinical trials in people with or at risk for Alzheimers. Researchers have also noted that further research still needs to be conducted on the potential of medical marijuana for treating Alzheimers disease.
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Has Alzheimer’s Society Ever Funded Research Into Cannabis And Dementia
Alzheimer’s Society has never funded research into cannabis and dementia risk, or into cannabis as a potential treatment for dementia symptoms.
This is because we have not received any high-quality applications from researchers intending to investigate these issues.If we received a high-quality application into cannabis and dementia from a researcher based at a UK university, research institute or NHS trust, then we would certainly consider this for funding.
What research is Alzheimer’s Society funding?
Learn more about the research projects we currently fund and have funded previously.
Learn More About Medical Marijuana In Ohio
Overall, medical marijuana offers a promising treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimers. It can help people with Alzheimers to feel more comfortable and more in touch with reality, and can also help to reduce the physical effects in the brain. However, it has not been shown to offer a real cure or any significant extension of life. But it could be another good treatment option for sufferers, and more research is being conducted into how medical marijuana could be of more use for this disease. If you want to learn more about how medical marijuana can be used for Alzheimers patients in Ohio, give us a call.
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Tackling The Symptoms Of Dementia
Research does suggest that high concentrations of CBD oil could be useful for managing some of the symptoms of dementia such as agitation and anxiety.
A few small clinical trials have assessed the effects of cannabinoids on behavioural symptoms of dementia. However, trials and studies so far have generally been small or low quality making it difficult to come to a conclusion.
It is also important to note that the researchers in these studies have used high concentrations of CBD oil that may not be available to buy. These studies have also been short term so we still dont know what the long term effects of using CBD oil might be.
A study is currently underway at Kings College London that will look at whether a mouth spray containing cannabinoids could be used to reduce symptoms of agitation and aggression in a small group of people with Alzheimers disease.
Cannabis For Alzheimers: Can Cannabis Help With Memory Loss
Dementia itself is a set of symptoms that are associated with the progressive deterioration of cognitive function, which in turn, affects daily activities and quality of life. Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, and is characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain that kill off cells.
Common signs and symptoms of Alzheimers include:
- Memory loss
- Changes in ability to communicate
- Impaired judgement and reasoning
As there is no cure, treatments for Alzheimers focus on slowing symptoms of the disease, along with managing the behavioural changes and maintaining mental function.
One drug in particular is getting some attention as a possible treatment option to help manage dementia symptoms: Cannabis.
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In Vivo Studies Using Cbd For Ad
Two in-vitro studies using CBD treated the right dorsal hippocampus of mice with human A peptide and applied CBD to evaluate the effects of CBD on neurotoxicity and inflammation. The results showed that CBD significantly inhibited the expression of GFAP, mRNA, and protein and reduced the expression of iNOS and IL-1 protein.19) Moreover, the effects of CBD were confirmed with and without the antagonist of PPAR . It was found that the blocking of PPAR mitigated the effects of CBD on neural damage and CBD stimulated the neurogenesis of the hippocampus through interactions .
In Vitro Studies Using Cbd For Ad
Four out of five in vitro studies using CBD were performed on PC12 neuronal cells. The results showed that CBD activated the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor- through the Wnt/-catenin pathway. As a result, it protected PC12 cells from A neurotoxicity and oxidation stress, increased cell survival, reduced ROS production, reduced lipid peroxidation, inhibited the hyperphosphirylation of tau protein, and inhibited AChE . A study conducted on SH-SY5YAPP+ cells showed that it reduced A production and actually decreased the APP full length protein levels. Additionally, CBD affected the selective activation of PPAR .
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Best Methods Of Marijuana Ingestion To Treat Side Effects And Symptoms Of Dementia
There are multiple ways to consume marijuana for dementia therapy, including:
Smoking marijuana tends to act stronger and faster, whereas ingesting the herb takes a bit to set in and lasts longer. Edibles can come in the form of cookies, candies, butter and foods. If smoking it works better, there are various smoking apparatuses to try out. Youll just need to experiment to figure out which cannabis and dementia treatment method works best for you or your loved one.