September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day, a date recognized by the Alzheimer’s Society globally. This important date marks the need to defend and raise awareness in society about the importance of prevention, early diagnosis and care offered, as well as support and assistance to family members and caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the WHO, it is estimated that there are around 50 million people with dementia in the world, and this number should triple in the next 30 years. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and can contribute to 60-70% of cases.
Dementia is one of the main causes of disability and dependence among elderly people around the world. Dementia has a physical, psychological, social and economic impact not only on people with dementia, but also on their caregivers, families and society in general.
Research on cannabis and Alzheimer’s continues to develop and may present an additional option for treatment
Different scientific studies highlight the use of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s symptoms. The main properties of cannabinoids for the treatment of symptoms would be: anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant.
Global medical affairs director of Spectrum Therapeutics, Dr. Wellington Briques, highlights some of these studies and their results below and is available for interviews.
Based on the complex pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, a preventive and multimodal drug approach that targets a combination of pathological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease seems ideal. It is important to note that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties and have immunosuppressive effects.
Studies have demonstrated the ability of the CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and neuroinflammatory response, as well as to promote neurogenesis. It is important to note that the CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models. Interestingly, the combined therapies of CBD and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), show that CBD can antagonise the psychoactive effects associated with THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than any of the phytochanabinoids alone. The studies provide “proof of principle” that CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations are valid candidates for new AD therapies. Further research should address the long-term potential of CBD and evaluate the mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects described.
The brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. The potential to stimulate brain tissue has recently been discovered as a potential benefit of CBD. In clinical trials, the BDC has demonstrated the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group revealed that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline in memory and other brain functions.