Alzheimers is often joked about when memory fades, but the reality is, a dreadful debilitating disease that affects not just the afflicted.
Well, we have news for you. EMSmith (Chiefio) reporting!:
Well. This is going to make the Old Folks Home a lot more fun!
Lots of links and a picture of ‘bud’ that is very drool-over quality in the original…
Marijuana compound removes toxic Alzheimer’s protein from the brain
This is awesome.
30 JUN 2016
An active compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The finding supports the results of previous studies that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative disease.
Yup, it’s the THC. None of this “non-high low TCH” stuff, no siree.
That it promotes the removal of amyloid plaque is really surprising.
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says one of the team, David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.
Schubert and his colleagues tested the effects of THC on human neurons grown in the lab that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Salk Institute. I wonder if it is THAT Salk Institute…
Looks like it.
Back at the original:
If you’re not familiar with this special little compound, it’s not only responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects – including the high – thanks to its natural pain-relieving properties, it’s also been touted as an effective treatment for the symptoms of everything from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, and stroke.
In fact, THC appears to be such an amazing medical agent, researchers are working on breeding genetically modified yeast that can produce it way more efficiently than it would be to make synthetic versions.
Oh Man! THC making yeast! I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about Genetic Engineering… (and I’d like to place an order for a Lager Yeast with the mods, please…)
That it lowers inflammation is generically interesting. There’s a whole lot of hurt in old folks with inflammatory diseases.
Over the years, research has suggested that by binding to these receptors, THC could be having another effect on ageing brains, because it appears to helps the body clear out the toxic accumulations – or ‘plaques’ – of amyloid beta.
No one’s entirely sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s thought to result from a build-up of two types of lesions: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules – a sticky type of protein that easily clumps together – and neurofibrillary tangles are caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass in the neurons.
It’s not clear why these lesions begin to appear in the brain, but studies have linked inflammation in the brain tissue to the proliferation of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. So if we can find something that eases brain inflammation while at the same time encourages the body to clear out these lesions, we could be on the way to finding the first effective treatment for Alzheimer’s ever.
Back in 2006, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute found that THC inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that produces them, and now Schubert and his team have demonstrated that it can also eliminate a dangerous inflammatory response from the nerve cells, ensuring their survival.
“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says one of the team, Antonio Currais.
“When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”
And they’ve reportedly already found a drug candidate called J147 that appears to have the same effects as THC, so this might be the way they can test the effects of THC without the government getting in the way.
The results have been published in Aging and Mechanisms of Disease.
I’d asserted several times that once real medical effects were shown to work, there would be analog drugs developed. It is the history of medicine. Plant molecules identified, extracted, modified and both enhanced and focused, patented and sold. From aspirin to digitalis to cocaine (and all the little *caines) and more. Looks like THC is headed the same way. (my bold)
But I still want to get some of that yeast…
Thanks Chiefio, off to find the local analog goods!