Marijuana For Alzheimers

Overview

Alzheimer’s disease is a medical condition that causes the degeneration of the brain. It can affect both middle aged and elderly people. Typically, the symptoms associated with this condition are similar to the experiences senior citizens have when aging. As a result, most cases of Alzheimer’s can go unnoticed by friends and relatives. Alzheimer’s leads to an overall decrease in mental sharpness. It can be characterized by memory loss, a sudden, unexplained reduction in an individual’s problem-solving skills, as well as changes in vision. For a person with Alzheimer’s, activities that might come about as reflex to a healthy individual such as remembering names and knowing how to tie a knot become increasingly difficult. Additionally, people with Alzheimer’s find it hard to keep up conversations since they are unable to recall some vocabulary. This condition may also lead to the patient’s social withdrawal over time.

Treatment

Conventional treatment methods include the administration of different drugs. Some of these medicines prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain. This chemical compound is important for memory and learning. It thus needs to be retained rather than broken down so as to maintain a good memory. Treatments on average last 6 to 12 months and have side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue. As such, these effects could discourage people with Alzheimer’s from taking the medication. In the current market, the main drugs being used to treat Alzheimer’s are Aricept, Exelon, and Razadyne. However, medical cannabis has successfully exhibited its ability to help in the control and treatment of this condition. What’s more, medical marijuana has very few negative side effects. We explain the way marijuana’s components work through the body to treat this disease.

Effects of cannabis on Alzheimer’s

One of the markers for the progress of Alzheimer’s is the build-up of amyloid plaques. This is the accumulation of peptides in the neural tissue. In a study published in 2008, researchers found that THC (the most widely-known cannabinoid in marijuana) lowered the growth of the amyloid beta peptide. Additionally, similar effects were observed in a 2014 study. Even small doses of THC can prove useful in reducing the accumulation of these plaques at a higher rate than registered medication forms such as Donepezil and Tacrine. In this way, using medical marijuana can waylay the progression of Alzheimer’s and thus be a viable treatment method.

Once amyloid plaques develop around neural tissue, the factor that promotes the spread of Alzheimer’s is the inflammation that occurs around the plaques. In a 2006 report, researchers discovered the critical role endocannabinoids have to play in controlling the inflammation that prevents the progression of Alzheimer’s. With low endocannabinoids in place, extensive inflammation occurs, leading to the spread of Alzheimer’s. A 2012 report explained the importance of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive function. A team of researchers studied rats developing without the right endocannabinoid receptors in place. The rats were found to have a higher rate of cognitive degeneration with age. Cannabinoids from marijuana can serve to replenish low levels of endocannabinoids and thus help slow cognitive degeneration. In this way, medical marijuana could help treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Use medical marijuana after consulting your medical doctor. In case you have any questions, always feel free to contact us.