A recent study of mice genetically tweaked to develop Alzheimer’s like symptoms who received a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana, performed as well as healthy mice on a memory test. The mice also lost fewer brain cells and their brains contained 20% less sticky placques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings suggest that cannabis could be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease. However, currently there are no studies of how marijuana compounds affect people with Alzheimer’s disease. For the complete article, follow our link to NPR.org.
Active Ingredient In Marijuana, THC, Reduced Alzheimer’s-Like Effects In Mice
By Jon Hamilton | NPR.org
A substance that gives pot its kick appears to reduce the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease – at least in mice.
In mice that had been genetically tweaked to develop symptoms like those of Alzheimer’s, animals that received a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol for six weeks performed as well as healthy mice on a memory test, scientists reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.
Meanwhile, mice given a placebo instead of THC lost the ability to remember where to find the shallow spot in a pool of water.
The treated mice also lost fewer brain cells and their brains contained 20 percent less of the sticky plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, said researcher Yvonne Bouter of the University Medical Center Goettingen in Goettingen, Germany. Bouter presented the results, which haven’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal, at a press conference.
The findings suggest that “cannabis could be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease,” Bouter said.
But even if that’s true, she said, it doesn’t mean the growing number of healthy older people who smoke pot should celebrate by lighting up. “We did this same experiment in healthy mice,” she said, “and they had problems learning.” Keep Reading