Alzheimer's Disease & Medical Marijuana

Alzheimer's Disease is a terrible neurodegenerative disease where plaque is deposited in brain tissue and the brain's cellular arrangement becomes progressively tangled resulting in a condition of progressive mental and physical dysfunction, eventually declining to the point of death.  

Medical Cannabis research now provides a scientific foundation for the treatment of Alzheimer's symptoms and the disease itself.  Medical Marijuana is now commonly prescribed by many medical doctors to treat or slow the progress of Alzheimer's.  In the state of California, 1500 physicians perform Medical Marijuana Evaluations that allow patients and caregivers to legally access Medical Cannabis.


The American Nurses Association (ANA) on Medical Cannabis

 

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis their findings show it to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions including Alzheimer's.“

--  ANA, 2004 Position Statement on MMJ


Symptoms

Alzheimer's sufferers physical condition declines gradually to a complete inactivity as well.  Symptoms begin with short term memory loss and comes to include problems with;

  • language
  • orientation
  • mood swings
  • motivation
  • abnormal behaviour


MMJDOCTORONLINE Note: Medical Marijuana and derivatives are commonly prescribed in a California 420 evaluation by California Medical Marijuana doctors to alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's

There is a growing body of research evidence to suggest that Cannabinoids, medicinal components found in Marijuana, can significantly inhibit symptoms and the advance of this terrible disease.

 

"Caring for an Alzheimer's patient is a situation that can utterly consume the lives and well-being of the people giving care, just as the disorder consumes its victims."

-- Leeza Gibbons,  American talk show host


Facts and Figures - Alzheimer's 2014

  • Alzheimer's is the sixth in cause of death in the United States
  • about 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's
  • about half of seniors with Alzheimer's are aware of the diagnosis
  • 15.7 million unpaid caregivers spent about 118 billion hours for the year, with a real cost of $217 billion to the only major diseases that the pharmaceutical
  • Alzheimer's is the only major diseases the medical establishment claims cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed
  • 700,000 or so people die each year
  • 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer's or dementia


Can MMJ Stop Alzheimer's?

The latest research suggests that Medical Cannabis compounds could slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer's.   Caregivers also report that their patients symptoms improved remarkably with Cannabis therapy.


Researchers Quotes - Cannabis and Alzheimer's

 

"Very small doses of THC, a component of Medical Cannabis, might slow down the overproduction of a protein that creates plaques in the brain. (paraphrase)"  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,  

--  Chuanhai Cao,  Alzheimer’s Institute, University of South Florida

 

"Treatment with THC resulted in significant decrease in: delusions, agitation/aggression, irritability, apathy, and sleep and caregiver distress. Adding MCO to AD patients’ pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option".

-- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

 

"The active ingredient in marijuana may stall decline from Alzheimer's disease"

--   BBC News Bulletin


Rats Memory Improves with Cannabinoid Therapy

Dr. Mechoulam is the famous discoverer of marijuana's main neuro-active component ,THC.  He and his colleagues studied in detail memory loss in rats .  Findings were reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Autopsies were performed on healthy and diseased people and the brain tissue of similarly aged people was examined in detail.  Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and associated body proteins that activate neurological function and the immune system were the primary target of investigation.

Microglia are immune cells found in the brain and spinal cord that clean up plaque and dead neurons. When active, Microglia causes inflammation which is associated with the reduced brain function.  


Summary

  • Cannabinoid receptors had dramatically reduced functioning in diseased brain tissue
  • Patients lost the capacity to experience cannabinoids' protective effects
  • Cannabinoids prevented cognitive decline in rats
  • Rats were injected with a cannabinoid and either amyloid or a control protein
  • After two months, the researchers trained the rats over five days to find a platform hidden underwater
  • Rats treated with the control protein - with and without cannabinoids - those treated with the amyloid protein and Cannabinoids were able to remember how to find the platform  
  • Rats treated with amyloid protein alone did not remember how to find the platform

 

Dr. Meshoulam thinks that these Medical Cannabis research discoveries are important because most drugs work only against symptoms do not address the heart of the matter, neurodegeneration.  

He strongly recommends that comprehensive clinical trials be performed on Medical Cannabis and its derivatives as soon as possible.  While clinical trials are expensive and cost tens of millions of dollars, the direct health-care costs of Alzheimer's worldwide are estimated to be a mind boggling, jaw dropping, $1 trillion dollars.

Similar studies also indicate the effectiveness of THC in fighting the formation is relatively safe, emphasizing that in low doses, the benefits greatly outweigh potential harm..

 

"When people say, 'You have Alzheimer's,' you have no idea what Alzheimer's is. You know it's not good. You know there's no light at the end of the tunnel. That's the only way you can go. But you really don't know anything about it. And you don't know what to expect."

-- Nancy Reagan, Pot? Forget about it.

 

MMJDOCTORONLINE Note:  In research studies, subjects were dosed orally, by inhalation with various forms of synthetic and organic Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Similarly, California Medical Marijuana doctors can legally recommend and advise on the use of oral, inhaler, edible or smokable forms of Medical Marijuana and derivatives in their 420 evaluations. MMJ DOCTOR ONLINE's Physicians provide Cannabis Consultation and Recommendations for the right strain, that best treats their symptoms and condition.


FURTHER READING

Cannabis is a promising drug to treat Neurological Degeneration

Cannabis reduces Brain Inflammation

Medical Marijuana Compound Protects Brain Cells from Insult

Cannabinoid system and Neurodegenerative Disease

Cannabinoid Receptors and Neurological Inflammation Reduction

Brain Plaque Peptide and MMJ

Prevention of Alzheimer’s by Cannabinoids

THC Inhibits Primary Marker of Alzheimer’s Disease

Dronabinol - Treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Dronabinol - Treatment of agitation in Alzheimer’s disease

Cannabinoids reduces Alzheimer’s in animals

 

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