A new study shows that low doses of THC can help reduce and even prohibit the growth of amyloid beta compounds in the brain – one of the key components to memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.
The study could represent a major breakthrough in the treatment of the disease, a horrible condition affecting more than 5 million people that robs them of their memories along with their ability to care for themselves. Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain through the buildup of plaques through amino acids, known as amyloid betas. Pot, it seems, help stop that buildup.
“Decreased levels of amyloid beta means less aggregation, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Since THC is a natural and relatively safe amyloid inhibitor, THC or its analogs may help us develop an effective treatment in the future,” neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, a PhD at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy, said in the study.
The study also showed that THC increases brain activity and transmission in key areas, including those associated with keeping the brain functioning properly. Researchers say they knew about THC’s antioxidant properties before, but say that this is the first time that they’ve been able to show that THC was lowering the plaque-forming amino acids associated with Alzheimers while at the same time promoting increased brain activity.
Not only that, bud the researchers say that any adverse effects of cannabis use like memory loss or “toxicity” are far outweighed by the benefits of THC treatments for people with Alzheimer’s. (Editor’s note: What toxicity?)
But, of course, they are clinical doctors. So any THC used to treat this must be from a pharmacy, they say:
“Are we advocating that people use illicit drugs to prevent the disease? No. However, these findings may lead to the development of related compounds that are safe, legal, and useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”