Cannabinoids Stave Off Alzheimer's Decline, Study Says

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Madrid, Spain: Cannabinoids prevent the neurodegenerative decline associated with Alzheimer's disease in animals and in human brain tissue, according to clinical trial data published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers at Madrid's Complutense University and the Cajal Institute reported that the intracerebroventricular administration of synthetic cannabinoids prevented cognitive impairment and decreased neurotoxicity in rats, and reduced the inflammation associated with Alzheimer's disease in human brain tissue. "Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease," authors concluded.

Findings published last summer by Complutense researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibit malignant brain tumor growth in animals, and may provide a potential therapy for human glioma patients.

Recent reviews published by the Society for Neuroscience and in the journal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America have noted that cannabinoids may be clinically useful in the treatment of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease.

Previous human trials on synthetic THC (Marinol) and Alzheimer's found that administration of the drug reduced agitation and stimulated weight gain in patients suffering from the disease.

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