Neurological conditions in Americans are on the rise. The average age of the U.S. Citizen has been projected to be about 76.4 years of age. A century ago it was 54. People born in the U.S. today can expect to live to an average age of about 79. A century ago, life expectancy was closer to 54.
“We’ve had a significant increase in lifespan over the last century,” says Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of NIH’s National Institute on Aging. “Now if you make it to age 65, the likelihood that you’ll make it to 85 is very high. And if you make it to 85, the likelihood that you’ll make it to 92 is very high. So people are living longer, and it’s happening across the globe.”
Living longer is great but, with a population that’s aging beyond previous measures, health conditions related to aging are also growing. Diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are showing up in greater numbers as well. One in ten individuals aged ≥65 years has AD and its prevalence continues to grow with increasing age. These conditions tend to progress in an irreversible manner and are associated with large socioeconomic and personal costs.
Current research has revealed that marijuana could provide some relief from symptoms related to Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurological conditions. Cannabinoids can provide anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that could potentially benefit Alzheimer’s patients by helping manage symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
In addition to managing symptoms, a recent study conducted by Stanford University Medical Center revealed that a substance called A-beta — strongly suspected to play a key role in Alzheimer’s because it’s the chief constituent of the hallmark clumps dotting the brains of people with Alzheimer’s — may, in the disease’s earliest stages, impair learning and memory by blocking the natural, beneficial action of endocannabinoids in the brain.
While A-beta is known to impair pyramidal-cell plasticity and to be toxic to nerve cells, endocannabinoids bind to specialized receptors on the hippocampal interneurons, temporarily suppressing them and allowing impulses to continue coursing along the pyramidal cells to their follow-on peers. The Stanford group that conducted the study is now trying to figure out the molecular details of how and where this interference occurs. Pinning down those details could pave the path to new drugs to stave off the defects in learning ability and memory that characterize Alzheimer’s as well as opening opportunities as to how medical marijuana might be used to help delay the buildup of A-beta in the brain.
In addition, nine studies focused on the effects of cannabinoids on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia were reviewed. The results held in common by these studies implied that the CBD components of cannabis might be useful to treat and prevent AD because CBD components could suppress the main causal factors of AD. Moreover, it was suggested that using CBD and THC together could be more useful than using CBD or THC alone.
In conclusion, the use of marijuana for Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and evolving area of research. If you are considering adding marijuana to your treatment plan, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations. Click the button below to get started.