An active compound found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been discovered to remove the toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which is known to kickstart the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The new findings support the past results of previous studies that revealed evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, in patients with neurodegenerative disease.
“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 coworkers checked the effects of THC on human nerve cells grown in the lab that mimic the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re not acquainted with this special little substance, it’s not only responsible for most of the cannabis’s psychological impacts – consisting of the high, thanks to its natural pain-relieving residential or commercial properties, it’s also been touted as an effective treatment for the signs of whatever from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic discomfort, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stroke.
In fact, THC seems such an incredible medical representative; researchers are working on breeding genetically customized yeast that can produce it way more useful than it would be to make synthetic versions.
The substance works by passing from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it attaches to two types of receptors, cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1 and 2, which are found on cell surfaces all over the body.
In the brain, these receptors are most focused in nerve cells related to enjoyment, memory, believing, coordination and time perception, and normally bind with a class of lipid particles called endocannabinoids that are produced by the body during physical activity to promote cell-to-cell signaling in the brain.
But THC can likewise bind to them in much the same way, and when they do, they begin messing with your brain’s ability to interact with itself.
They can be a great and a bad thing, because while you may forget something essential or suddenly be incapable of swinging a baseball bat, you’ll probably feel amazing, and wish to consume all the snacks:
Throughout the years, the research study has suggested that by binding to these receptors, THC could be having another impact on aging brains, because it appears to assists the body clear out the dangerous build-ups – or ‘plaques’ – of amyloid beta.
Nobody’s entirely sure exactly what causes Alzheimer’s illness, but it’s believed to result from an accumulation of 2 kinds of lesions: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
Amyloid plaques sit between the nerve cells as dense clusters of beta-amyloid particles – a sticky type of protein that easily clumps together – and neurofibrillary tangles are caused by faulty tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass in the neurons.
It’s not clear why these lesions start to appear in the brain; however research studies have linked swelling in the brain tissue to the proliferation of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
So if we can discover something that relieves brain swelling while at the same time motivates the body to clean out these lesions, we could be en route to finding the very first reliable treatment for Alzheimer’s ever.
Back in 2006, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute found that THC hinders 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 likewise get rid of a dangerous inflammatory reaction from the afferent neuron, ensuring their survival.
” Inflammation within the brain is a significant component of the damage related to Alzheimer’s disease, however, it has always been presumed that this response was originating from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” states one of the team, Antonio Currais.
“When we were able to recognize 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 associated with safeguarding the cells from dying.”
It’s amazing things, however, it’s so far only been demonstrated in neurons in the lab, so the next action will be for Schubert and his group to observe the link between THC and lowered inflammation and plaque accumulation in a clinical trial.
They’ve supposedly already found a drug candidate called J147 that appears to have the very same impacts as THC, so this might be the method they can test the impacts of THC without the federal government getting in the way.
Though it’s worth including that more current legal modifications because the time of this research around cannabis use in the USA might be making additional research in this area a lot easier.