How Much Do You Know About Cannabis for Those with Alzhemer's Disease?

Credit: Mika Jacobson

Credit: Mika Jacobson

Alzheimer's is a very complex disease known mostly for it's ability to cause extreme memory loss in aging individuals. In the "mitochondrial cascade" hypothesis, one of the first stages of the illness begins with what is called "mitochondrial dysregulation." In this stage, oxygen-free radicals damage the structure and function of mitochondrial DNA, resulting in "metabolic reprogramming," in which damaged and healthy neurons compete for nutrients. In the event the unhealthy neurons outcompete the healthy, a person is set on the path towards Alzheimer's.

One study set off to investigate the potential benefits of THC therapy on the hallmark characteristic's of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers incubated cells and treated them with different therapies, one therapy being THC. They also performed an MTT assay on the viability of the cells. The results suggested THC was effective in lowering and inhibiting aggregation in the peptides associated with the proteins in patients with Alzheimer's disease (Amyloid Beta). Researchers added, "low doses of THC can enhance mitochondria function and does not inhibit melatonin's enhancement of mitochondria function."

The data suggests THC could effectively halt Alzheimer's progression as well as improve mitochondrial function, which supplies energy, transmits signals, and maintains a healthy brain. Hopefully there will be further investigation into Cannabinoid Therapy in Alzheimer's patients.

http://bit.ly/1DUR4QO (Harvard Analysis)
http://1.usa.gov/1PSnpNP (Study: THC and Alzheimer's)
http://1.usa.gov/1JHRZoB (Study: mitochondrial cascade Hypothesis)
http://bit.ly/1q8ONeD (USF Health Analysis)