Marijuana and Alzheimer’s

Medical cannabis for Treating Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive disorder that effects the brain. Image Credit: Logan Adermatt on Unsplash .

According to the NHS (National Health Service), 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Disease, also known as AD is the most common form of dementia. These two terms are commonly mistaken for each other. However, dementia is the umbrella term for symptoms associated with memory loss and thinking skills. AD is a tricky disease to treat, but for many, people are in hope for a new alternative, all natural treatment.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease? How Does it Form?

Experts in the field are still not sure how Alzheimer’s forms, nor is there a cure for Alzheimers Disease. What experts do know, is that AD is caused by a build-up of proteins which surround the brain cells. Amyloid, a protein deposits itself on brain cells which leads to the build-up of plaque. This plaque spread throughout the brain, which is when brain cells start to miscommunicate due to neurotransmitters mixing or losing signals. At this stage, the symptoms of AD are still not visible. It’s only until the memory part of the brain starts to shrink. The entire beginning of this process is unknown, yet in saying this, there are a few factors relating to Alzheimer’s. These are

  • Age
  • Depression left untreated
  • Certain lifestyle factors and medications conditions such as heart diease
  • Genetics and family history

The Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Symptoms of AD start to worsen over an extended period of time, which is why Alzheimer’s disease is known as a progressive condition. The early signs of Alzheimer’s aren’t always easy to point out other than having slight memory issues. Over time, when the plaque in the brain starts to spread, memory problems become significantly worse. Severe symptoms along with memory loss start to become apparent. These are

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Agression and other personality changes
  • Speach impariment
  • Organising and planning become difficult
  • Confusion

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with Medical Marijuana

People with Alzheimer often use a range of medications to treat their condition. Many of these medications are to alter behaviors that can be challenging. These are generally antipsychotic medications. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors such as galantamine and donepezil are also used. These help brain and nerve cells to communicate with one another. If people cannot take AChE inhibitors they are generally prescribed medication lie Memantine. This is not generally given to people within the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

These medications can be useful, but also expensive. This is why many seniors have started to become cannabis users. This is because studies are showing that cannabis is effective in treating a range of medical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Epilepsy, which is why experts are now turning to research cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease.

In the cannabis sativa plant, there are over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Two of which are believed to have many medical benefits. Cannabidiol, known as CBD is said to treat acne and anxiety, while THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) prevents s seizures and might have the potential to kill cancer cells.

Studies from 2014 also show that THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) reduces amyloid plaque buildup which appears on brain cells. In 2018, Neuroscience concluded that

“Treating Alzheimer’s disease mice with the psychoactive compound found in marijuana improves memory and reduces neuronal loss, suggesting a possible therapy for the human disease.”

It’s clear that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease struggle with daily life and daily tasks, however now there is hope for an all-new, natural treatment. If you wish to use medical cannabis of any form, make sure to seek medical attention and advise before doing so.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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