The currently available Alzheimer`s disease treatments are quite ineffective. As a matter of fact, around 99% of the experiments were unsuccessful, which discourages looking at alternative methods. However, researchers may be close to finding a real solution to Alzheimer`s, and it is not in the form of a pricey pill. If researches are to be believed, it is the use of cannabis.
Alzheimer`s is a neurodegenerative disease which manifests itself by gradual loss of learning ability, memory, judgment, and communication. It is usually found in people over the age of 65, of whom 1 in 14 adults are affected. Late-onset Alzheimer`s is the most common type of Alzheimer`s accounting for around 90 % of all cases.
The most common symptoms of mild Alzheimer`s include difficulty completing once-routine tasks, lethargy and lack of purpose, repeating the same questions, memory loss, monetary difficulties, poor decision making, impaired sense of judgment, increased aggression and anxiety, and impaired sense of direction.
As for severe Alzheimer`s, the most common symptoms include loss of ability to speak or converse, all of the signs mentioned above, complete dependence on others for most tasks, and declining physical abilities.
The problem with dementia drugs is that there are only a few drugs approved for it, and that most of them are ineffective and counterproductive.
First of all, they are quite expensive and unattainable for seniors who live on a fixed income. Secondly, they come with nasty side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, and more. Ultimately, they are ineffective, except for Memantine which comes with significant benefits.
Cannabis and Alzheimer`s
“When we investigated the power of THC … we found that [it] was a very effective inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. [We] also found that THC was considerably more effective than two of the approved drugs…” – Kim Janda, Ph.D.
The fact that marijuana is becoming less taboo, particularly for those with medical conditions, is great! To see how widespread cannabis is as a treatment option, check out the problems it can help with:
- Loss of appetite
- Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Nausea and vomiting (from chemotherapy)
- Cancer (by killing cancer cells and slowing tumor growth)
- Chron’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Eating disorders
- Excessive weight loss (in people with AIDS and cancer)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Muscle spasms
To understand how cannabis works to help with Alzheimer`s, you need to understand the neurophysiology of the disease first. Specifically, the development and progression of Alzheimer`s is attributed to the buildup of a sticky plaque protein called beta-amyloid. It is believed that the protect disrupts the communication between neurons in the brain and lead to cellular death.
THC, an active compound in marijuana helps to remove the toxic buildup of beta-amyloid, according to researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. In addition, THC may help to reduce inflammation in nerve cells. “THC-like compounds (within) the nerve cells themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying,” says Antonio Currais, a researcher.