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Synthetic Cannabinoid Protective Against Stroke-Induced Cell Death, Study Says

Thursday, 15 March 2012

San Francisco, CA: The administration of a cannabinoid agonist is neuroprotective in subjects with cerebral ischemia (a condition characterized by insufficient blood flow to the brain resulting in cell death), according to preclinical data published online in the journal Neuroscience.

Investigators at the University of California, San Francisco, Neonatal Brain Disorders Center assessed the neuroprotective impact of WIN55,512-2, a synthetic cannabinoid agonist, on the brains of infant rats following cerebral ischemia.

"WIN administration ... attenuated infarct volume (necrosis resulting from obstructed blood flow to the brain)," authors concluded. "Cumulatively, our results show that the cannabinoid agonist WIN protects against neonatal focal stroke in part due to inhibitory effects on microglia."

Separate studies have previously documented that the administration of organic cannabinoids, including the non-psychotropic compound CBD (cannabidiol), is protective in animal models of cerebral and cardiac ischemia, as well as against alcohol-induced neurotoxicity.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Reduced infarct size and accumulation of microglia in rats treated with WIN 55,212-2 after neonatal stroke," appears online in Neuroscience.



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