According to a new study published in the Aging and Mechanisms of Disease journal on Friday [July 1], the active compound tetrahydrocannabinol also known as THC has the potential to cure Alzheimer’s Disease.
The study concluded that the compound in conjunction with others found in marijuana can help with the removal of toxic proteins, amyloid beta, that contribute to the disease.
Amyloid beta is considered to be the factor that launches Alzheimer’s into effect. Forming into plaques and accumulating in the brain, it can disrupt the co,muni cation between nerve cells. The accumulation of amyloid beta can lead to the increased appearance of pro-inflammatory proteins that can cause death of neurons.
In the study performed by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, scientists replicated this process, then added THC to these damaged nerve cells. What they found was that the compound reduced these protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response, prolonging nerve cell survival.
These finding only further prove previous theories and positive results on the effect of cannabinoids on neurodegenerative diseases.
“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 an author of the paper, 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.”