Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, making up 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 6 million Americans suffer from the disease — two-thirds of them women — while over 33 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s. The older you are, the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s, though some 200,000 people under age 65 experience early onset Alzheimer’s.
It’s a degenerative disease, meaning symptoms worsen over time, beginning with mild forgetfulness and confusion and leading to loss of bodily functions and awareness of self. Unfortunately, scientists don’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s. They do agree, though, that it involves two particular proteins in the brain. A surplus of these proteins causes what’s known as plaques and tangles, which disrupt neural functioning.
There isn’t a cure for the disease, but there are medications that can help manage or slow symptoms. Some studies suggest cannabis, including THC, may help break up the buildup of proteins in the brain. CBD oil shows positive signs for easing symptoms like agitation and anxiety. Because cannabis research is a burgeoning field, and the number of people with Alzheimer’s will only increase, cannabisMD will continue to offer the most recent and relevant information on cannabis as a treatment option for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.