A new study published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, indicates that cannabinoids found in cannabis such as THC may remove a compound thought linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Amelyoid beta is a plaque forming protein thought to be a result of brain inflammation and neuronal death. Marijuana has already been shown in studies to prevent these plaques from forming but this new research suggests that cannabis may also help the body eliminate the plaques that have already formed.
THC and Exercise
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the substance in the marijuana plant that causes the psychoactive effects the herb is notorious for, by activating the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Exercise is another activity that stimulates these endogenous receptor sites.
Inflammation a Major Component of the Damage Associated with Alzheimer’s
A statement from the one of the researchers at Salk Institute said that these compounds may halt cell death that is implicated in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. “Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.
The research was conducted on neurons grown in a laboratory and suggests that THC may be a successful therapy for patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease. Nearly 6 mission people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and 10 millions people from Parkinson’s disease. These diseases are thought to have environmental and epigenetic causes.
Alzheimer’s Sometimes Called Diabetes 3
Alzheimer’s is sometimes called Diabetes type 3 because insulin resistance may also cause the build up of amyloid plaques. For more reading on Alzheimer’s: Nature Prescription: The Missing Link in Dementia Treatment.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.