Can Marijuana Prevent Alzheimer’s? As researchers seek treatments to combat Alzheimer’s and dementia, cannabis gains attention Facebook267Pinterest49LinkedIn3TwitterPrintFriendly.comEmail By Robyn Griggs LawrenceOctober 1, 2012 Cognitive decline is the No. 1 fear among Americans older than 50, but while we know that exercise, proper diet and social and educational engagement can help maintain brain health, there is as yet no intervention that can fully prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
If no such development occurs, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in the next 50 years.
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While there has been hope that natural remedies could have an impact, none has been shown to be effective so far.
When a study released last month proved that ginkgo biloba could not prevent Alzheimer’s, one researcher called it the “Nail in the coffin” for that theory.N discussing their 2006 paper on the potential benefits of THC-based therapies, the University of Connecticut research team wrote, “As the science supporting the validity of endocannabinoid therapeutics progresses, the criminalization of marijuana and the repressive position of the U.S. government is becoming increasingly absurd.” The federal government has given no indication that marijuana will be legalized anytime soon, although national polls indicate that a majority of Americans might support a change in policy.
Until then the 3 million American adults over 50 who use marijuana without a prescription do so in violation of the law.
Those users, and many other baby boomers, are open to legalization and may be expected to advocate at least for additi Boomers are the first generation that’s been exposed to all the weird chemicals in our food and environment,” says Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific.
“It’s like a massive experiment has been done on us – and all of this stuff is taking its toll, health-wise.
“The fact that baby boomers came of age with marijuana makes them receptive” to cannabis-derived treatments, he adds.
“We’re the first generation that is less healthy than the generation that preceded us and we’re turning to alternatives.”