Marijuana Showing Promise in Potentially Treating Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most debilitating and heartbreaking things that a person could face. For both the patient and the patient’s family members, this disease can be an awful struggle. This is why so many studies have been dedicated to trying to find new treatments for Alzheimer’s.
Thankfully, a recent study shows that the THC in marijuana can stimulate the elimination of toxic plaque in a person’s brain, preventing inflammation of the brain that can further damage neurons.
Since the toxic plaque and neuron damage are among the common features of Alzheimer’s, this is could be a major development in treating the disease.
Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis in Alzheimer’s Cases
David Schubert, one of the studies senior researchers and professor at Salk Institute for Biological Studies, explained that marijuana might be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
“It is reasonable to conclude that there is a therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” Schubert wrote
Schubert is not the only person in the medical field who believes that medical marijuana could help with Alzheimer’s and similar illnesses. Dr. David Casarett, author of the book “Stoned” and Duke University’s chief of palliative care services, agrees that medical marijuana has already shown progress in this area
He explains that he has spoken to a number of family members of patients with varying levels of dementia who have tried medical marijuana treatments and they found that marijuana helped to reduce some of the confusion and agitation that often accompanies dementia.
Marijuana and Behavior Issues
A number of other studies have also supported this claim. A couple of studies by Dutch researchers in 2014 found that the psychoactive elements in THC helped with the behavioral issues associated with dementia.
Another study of just 11 patients in 2016 found that marijuana helped to lessen the apathy, aggression, delusions, agitation, irritability and sleep issues that can occur in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Though researchers are pleased to see some of the advances in treating the difficult symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, there is a much larger issue that they hope to tackle: actually finding a preventative treatment and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Research is the key to continuing to work toward a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, since marijuana is still classified as a schedule I drug, it can be a lot more difficult to get medical marijuana studies off the ground.
Reclassifying marijuana as a schedule II or III drug could be a massive step toward finding breakthroughs in the treatment of a number of diseases.