Cannabinoids and Alzheimer’s disease
Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells
Preliminary laboratory studies at the Salk Institute found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduces b-amyloid proteins in human neurons.
Scientists at the Salk Institute have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
and other compounds found in Cannabis may promote cellular removal of amyloid beta,
of a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and could provide evidence for the development of new therapies for the disease.
“Although other studies have shown that cannabinoids may be neuroprotective against Alzheimer’s symptoms, We believe that our study is the first to show that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and accumulation beta amyloid in nerve cells, “says Salk Institute professor David Schubert, senior author of the paper.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to memory loss and can severely impair the ability to a person to perform daily tasks. It affects more than five million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health and is one of the leading causes of death. It is also the most common cause of dementia and its incidence is expected to triple over the next 50 years.
It has long been known that amyloid beta accumulates in the nerve cells of the aging brain, long before its onset of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and plaques. Amyloid beta is an important component of the plaque deposits that make up feature of the disease. However, the exact role of amyloid beta and the plaques it forms during the disease process remains unclear.
In a manuscript published in June 2016 entitled “Aging and the Mechanism of Disease”, the Salk team studied nerve cells that have modified to produce high levels of amyloid beta to mimic aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cell inflammation and higher rates of neuronal death. They showed that cell exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated nerve cells the inflammatory response elicited by the protein, thus allowing nerve cells to survive.
“Inflammation in the brain is an important component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is always assumed that it “The response came from immune cells in the brain, not from the nerve cells themselves,” said Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher.
in Schubert’s workshop and first author of the work. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response in amyloid beta, it has become clear that the compounds produced by nerve cells, which are similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may be involved in protecting cells from death “.
Brain cells have switches, known as receptors, that can be activated by endocannabinoids, a class of lipid molecules produced by the body and used for intercellular signaling in the brain. The psychoactive effects of cannabis caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule similar in activity to endocannabinoids that can activate the same receptors. Physical activity results in the production of endocannabinoids and some studies have shown that exercisemay slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Schubert stressed that his team’s findings were based on exploratory laboratory models and that the use of THC-type compounds as a treatment should be tested in clinical trials.
In a separate but relevant study, his lab found a candidate for Alzheimer’s drug called J147, which also removes amyloid beta from nerve cells and reduces the inflammatory response in both nerve cells and the brain. It was the study of J147 which led scientists to discover that endocannabinoids are involved in removing amyloid beta and reducing inflammation.
Other authors include Oswald Quehenberger and Aaron Armando of the University of California, San Diego and Pamela Maher and Daniel Daughtery of the Salk Institute.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Burns Foundation and the Bundy Foundation.
Note All articles published here refer to information on all cannabinoids, however, access to THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is not possible in Greece, which is not yet legal in our country.