Can Cannabis Treat The Top 5 Signs Of Dementia | cannabisMD

Can Cannabis Treat The Top 5 Signs Of Dementia

The Top 5 Signs Of Dementia cannabis might treat

Image Credit: Karen Culp on Shutterstock

Dementia is a terrible disease that affects a mind bogglingly high number of people in the United States and worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 50 million people have dementia at any one time. Although we all know someone who has suffered from dementia, there are still some common misconceptions about the condition that are very prevalent in society today.

There is the common belief that dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are the same thing. This is untrue. The truth is that Alzheimer’s Disease is just one form of dementia. There are over 400 types of dementia, believe it or not. The most common are Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. Some of the other common forms of dementia include:

  1. Lewy Body Disease
  2. Frontotemporal dementia
  3. Early Onset Dementia

People with Alzheimer’s Disease will always have dementia, but not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s Disease.

What’s The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Everything You Need to Know

Another common misconception is that dementia is just part and parcel of getting older. Most of us think that dementia is a perfectly normal part of the aging process. It isn’t. While some short term memory loss is a natural part of the aging process, the depth of memory loss and the cognitive decline caused by dementia are not.

For example, an elderly person suffering from normal memory loss may forget a persons name momentarily, someone with dementia may completely forget who others are. Similarly, while someone suffering from normal memory loss may occasionally forget to lock the door at night, an elderly person with dementia may forget that their spouse and parents are dead. There is a considerable difference between normal memory loss and that caused by dementia.

This is why knowing the symptoms of dementia is so vital. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the better the treatment options for the patient.

5 Signs of Dementia

There are a great many symptoms of dementia and they vary to a large degree from one form of the disease to another. However, the most common symptoms include:

  1. Memory Loss is probably the most stereotypical symptom of dementia. However, the day to day memory loss caused by the disease isn’t as simple as your Grandma losing her keys twice a week. If she looks at you blankly as you walk through the door and appears to not instantly recognize you, she could have dementia. Occasional short term memory loss is totally typical of elderly folks. However, forgetting who people that you are close to is definitely not.
  2. Speech Difficulties are very common for people with dementia. Finding the right words can be infuriatingly difficult for them. It’s right there on the tip of their tongue but they just can’t get it out. Regular long pauses during speech, completely forgetting what it was they were talking about and repeating themselves over and over again are all significant warning signs too.

  3. Sudden Disorientation can be quite typical for dementia patients. If you’re in mid conversation and you suddenly observe your Grandpa looking around him in an alarmed way, as though he’s not sure where he is or how he got there, you have good reason to be concerned. Folks with dementia can experience the same kind of disorientation when it comes to time. What could seem perfectly straight forward to us (the most basic understanding of time) can suddenly stop them in their tracks and cause enormous confusion. This is not a normal part of aging.
  4. Changes in Mood and Behaviour can be one of the most distressing symptoms for loved ones to witness. You may watch on the sidelines as your Dad who was always even tempered and softly spoken seems to transform into someone who is regularly angry, irritable and downright mean. This can be a really horrible time. The fact is if an elderly relatives very personality seems to be changing, it’s likely that they have dementia.
  5. Loss of Motivation is the final of our 5 signs of dementia. This symptom can manifest itself in various ways. For many elderly people it results in sudden decrease in a normally high standard of personal hygiene. Letting standards of housework slip are also very typical. Many dementia patients will stop cooking proper meals for themselves simply because they have no motivation. This is just another reason why we must all keep regular contact with our elderly relatives as they age.

Can Medical Cannabis Help Treat Signs of Dementia?

Recent studies on cannabis are showing that the plant that holds a lot of stigma, may be able to help prevent and treat symptoms associated with dementia. The reason for it’s potential is due to the fact that it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) located in the brain. In a study, THC (a chemical compound from the cannabis plant) revealed that it targeted amyloid clumps from nerve cells, also known as Alzheimer’es hallmark. With this showing promsiing results, cannabis as a treatment for alzheimer’s and dementia and still in preclincal stages.

There are many stages of dementia as it is a degenerative disease. By spotting the warning signs in the early stages, it is possible to slow the progression of the disease significantly. For this reason, family members can’t be too vigilant when keeping an eye on their older loved ones. Dementia is a nasty disease. If left unchecked for long enough, it can have an immeasurably negative impact on the quality of life for our nearest and dearest. However, there are treatments available. With raised awareness and early detection dementia can be almost stopped in its tracks altogether, ensuring that our loved ones enjoy their final years as they should.

Jonathan Neilly

Registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in Jonathan's life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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