Emerging studies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease have produced encouraging news regarding the use of cannabinoids (marijuana) and vitamin B. Both Marijuana and vitamin B are showing considerable promise, in offering hope to Alzheimer’s patients. It is estimated that over 4.5 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer’s, and 36 million people worldwide die with the disease. Contrary to popular propaganda against marijuana use, the plant has been show to stimulate the regrowth of brain cells rather than destroy them. Furthermore, there is a substantial body of evidence that shows THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is the best known compound for breaking up the formation of plaque deposits around the brain, and preventing the development of Alzheimer’s.
“Cannabinoids induce adult hippocampus neurogenesis, which is the production of healthy new brain cells” says Clint Werner, author of Marijuana Gateway to Health.
In a study done on rats, Gery Wenk, a professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University, said that cannabinoids were the first and only drug that showed remarkable improvement in the reduction of brain inflammation and repairing cognitive functions.
Research from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn in Germany, suggests that activation of the brains cannabinoid receptors, releases anti-oxidants that clean the brain of damaged cells, and stimulate Mitrochondria which is the source of energy for cells.
“Neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the progression of normal brain ageing and to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are suppressed by cannabinoids, suggesting that they may also influence the ageing process on the system level.”
The researcher, Andras Biokey-Gorzo cautions that more clinical evidence is required before the evidence can be conclusive. For inventors Aidan J. Hampson, Julius Axelrod and Maurizio Grimaldi, the evidence was substantial enough to apply in 1999 for a patent, US 6630507 B1, the abstract reads
“The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”
Marijuana has been used spiritually and as medicine for thousands of years globally, as a tea and as an inhalant. It is considered a holy herb by Rastafarians, and one of five sacred plants in India and Nepal. Parts of Africa used marijuana for treatment of nervous disorders, lack of appetite, cholera, rheumatism, skin diseases and other maladies. History records the plant as being used by Germanic tribes, shamans of China, and there is biblical reference to the use of marijuana as a holy anointing oil. The question that millions of Alzheimer’s patients want answered is, will it slow or reverse the neurological disintegration of brain tissue, and if so, when will the governments either legalize it’s use, or provide medical access for it.
In related news, high doses of vitamin B (0.8mg of folic acid, 20 mg of vitamin B6, and 0.5 mg of vitamin B12,) was shown to dramatically slow the degeneration of grey matter over a two year period, and to improve cognitive abilities. The study was published last month by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The therapy works by lowering the levels of an amino acid called Homocysteine, which when imbalanced is also connected to heart disease and stroke.
Certainly,these studies are encouraging, and provide incentive to continue research, and support the legalization of the plant, for medicinal purposes as well as relaxation and pain management. In the meantime, science continues it’s journey of discovery on how and why marijuana and vitamin B offer hope to Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
by Tonnya Roberts Marisse
ColoMJinitiative2012 – Marijuana and Alzheimers
Collective Evolution – New Study Shows Cannabinoids Improve Efficiency…
GMA News Online – Marijuana may improve stamina rejunvenate brain
Wikipedia – Religious and spiritual use of marijuana