Marijuana Ingredient May Help Alzheimer's 

  Marijuana Ingredient May Help Alzheimer's 

Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2005 at 14:28:27 PT
By Miranda Hitti 
Source: Fox News Network 

New clues about Alzheimer’s disease have emerged from a Spanish study of marijuana. The drug’s active ingredients — cannabinoids — help prevent brain problems seen in Alzheimer’s, say the scientists. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which progressively damages brain areas involved in memory, judgment, language and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of mental decline, or dementia, in older adults.
The new study didn’t test cannabinoids on people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, the researchers focused on human brain tissue samples and conducted cannabinoid experiments on rats.The findings showed that “cannabinoids work both to prevent inflammation and to protect the brain,” says researcher Maria de Ceballos in a news release. That “may set the stage for [cannabinoids’] use as a therapeutic approach for [Alzheimer’s disease].”A staff member at Madrid’s Cajal Institute, de Ceballos conducted the study with colleagues from nearby Complutense University. Their results appear in the Feb. 23 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.Marijuana, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Human BrainThe researchers studied human brain tissue samples, some of which were from deceased Alzheimer’s patients and some from normal brain tissue.The typical features seen in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease are called plaques. Plaques are protein clumps that are seen outside brain cells, and they have been shown to activate inflammation seen in brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease patients.Besides the typical plaques seen with Alzheimer’s disease, the brain tissues taken from Alzheimer’s patients also had many fewer cannabinoid receptors.Significant changes in the location, expression, and function of cannabinoid receptors may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, write the researchers.That could mean that the patients had lost the capacity to experience cannabinoids’ protective effects, says the news release.Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Mental DeclineThe researchers also injected rats with a protein called beta-amyloid, which gave the rats an Alzheimer’s-like brain condition.Some of the same rats were also injected with a cannabinoid. For comparison, other rats got injections of an unrelated protein along with beta-amyloid.After two months, the rats were tested for learning, memory, and mental functions. The researchers tried to train them to find a platform in a tank of water. The rats had two minutes to find the platform. If they failed, the researchers briefly put the rats on the platform. Four times a day for five days, the rats practiced.By the fifth day, the rats that received the cannabinoid injections were able to find the platform on their own. Those that didn’t get the cannabinoid injections didn’t learn to find the platform.Another interesting result also surfaced. The cannabinoids completely prevented activation of cells that trigger inflammation. These cells gather near plaque and are believed to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.“Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease,” write the researchers in the journal.They plan to focus future studies on a cannabinoid receptor that’s unrelated to marijuana’s “high,” says the news release.By Miranda Hitti, reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MDSOURCES: Ramirez, B. The Journal of Neuroscience, Feb. 23, 2005; vol 25: pp 1904-1913. WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: “Alzheimer’s Disease: Topic Overview.” News release, Society for Neuroscience. Source: Fox News Network (US)Author: Miranda HittiPublished: Wednesday, February 23, 2005Copyright: 2005 FOX News Network, LLC. Website: foxnewsonline foxnews.comRelated Articles:Marijuana May Block Alzheimer's Times for Alzheimers 

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 24, 2005 at 13:28:18 PT
I think I spelled it right! LOL! Go Jon!!! LOL!
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Comment #15 posted by Dankhank on February 24, 2005 at 13:24:41 PT
Daily show
I love that show ... hate it when it is a rerun ... stop it ...WTF is his name? It's halarious when Jon, yea, that's it ... shows the talking points from major speeches like State of Union or some such ,...Freedom, freedom freedom birth of freedom freedom liberty, liberty, liberty ..... liberty birth of liberty .....CNN copied that the other night ....Go Comedy Central.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on February 24, 2005 at 11:07:40 PT

There's a good documentary out called Outfoxed. Once a person sees it they know that Fox is for Bush and Republicans and accurate news isn't an issue. I never liked Fox because they are arrogant but it is way much more then arrogance. On The Daily Show ( which is a great comedy news show ) they called Fox TV the Hitler Network. It was so funny.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 24, 2005 at 10:56:01 PT

I agree that mmj is number one in our hopes of reform. We see how it has gone in the past and how the future might be and mmj is the only way to open the door to understanding for the majority of people.
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Comment #12 posted by jfrolang on February 24, 2005 at 10:40:00 PT

reagan's death
Karma can get you like that.I agree with Taylor121, mmj is definitely the imperative issue. It's getting to be that nobody can avoid the topic. I think that it will eventually erase the reefer madness propaganda completely, which will open the door to full legalization. The government's war on drugs is supported almost completely by their prohibition of cannabis, so realistic health policies for dealing with addicts of stronger substances can't be far behind. Much of the world is realizing this, why is the US so stubborn?
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Comment #11 posted by dongenero on February 24, 2005 at 07:43:05 PT

life can be ironic
It's a bit ironic that Ron and Nancy Reagan ramped up the war against cannabis to new heights, then it turns out cannabis may be the key to preventing Alzheimer's which ultimately took Ron's life.
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Comment #10 posted by potpal on February 24, 2005 at 06:54:16 PT

Saw a brief, very brief, piece on headline news this am. It was repeated at the top of the hour and didn't make the marquee like a negative cannabis story surely would. This is something that can't be ignored. Where's Nancy Reagan now. 
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on February 24, 2005 at 04:32:51 PT

Thank God for the younger generation. They are the "Reinforcements" [ Brian Augers's Oblivion Express ].
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 23, 2005 at 22:44:07 PT

I must say Bravo! 
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Comment #7 posted by Taylor121 on February 23, 2005 at 22:34:12 PT

Don't give fox too much credit
Keep in mind this is just because they link webmd on their news site for health related news. But thank God for that!Fox did have a nice article on the marijuana lobby just the other week. Medical marijuana is an issue that helps the public see marijuana closer to what it actually is and shows it has uses besides recreational intoxication. I think medical marijuana is THE MOST important issue in the drug war right now, because I sincerely believe that it performs three important things at the same time. A) It protects the most fragile part of the marijuana consuming population, the sick. B) It gets marijuana mentioned in the media in positive light C) It builds momentum and morale in the reform community and is basically like a snow ball rolling down the hill. It won't be stopped this time unlike the progress made in the 70's. Medical marijuana allows us to go all the way and carry the momentum all the way through.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 23, 2005 at 22:29:23 PT

Never thought I'd say it
But, Thank God for Fox News.Looks like they didn't drop the ball on this one. We've seen reports like this before and they never hit the mainstream in this country before this piece. Maybe now someone, besides us, will pay attention.

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Comment #5 posted by siege on February 23, 2005 at 18:24:16 PT

Charges dropped in B.C. grow-op case
He noted the time may be needed "to permit the occupants to prepare to be safely detained or arrested and to put down toy guns, channel changers or other objects that have the potential to mistakenly [signal] life-threatening danger to the entering police officers."
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Comment #4 posted by siege on February 23, 2005 at 18:10:42 PT

Heroin fears over school drug tests
RANDOM drug testing in schools runs the risk of encouraging pupils to switch from using cannabis - which can be traced in the body for long periods - to drugs such as heroin which are flushed out more quickly, a report claimed today.

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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on February 23, 2005 at 16:02:20 PT

What I am imagining right now
A nation of aging baby boomers, who just watched Fox News, and are now asking their adult children where they can score pot.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 23, 2005 at 15:45:29 PT

Related Article from Forbes and HealthDay
Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery
: Ingredient Could Slow Alzheimer's By Janice Billingsley, HealthDay Reporter
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on February 23, 2005 at 15:40:39 PT

Heer is a novel proposition
Perhaps the high is just the brain's way of experiencing the feeling of being protected by cannabinoids.And that's why runners feel high too.
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