Marijuana Reduces Memory Impairment

  Marijuana Reduces Memory Impairment

Posted by CN Staff on November 19, 2008 at 09:15:26 PT
Source: Newswise 

Newswise -- The more research they do, the more evidence Ohio State University scientists find that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation there and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells.The research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s remains unknown, chronic inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute to memory impairment.
Any new drug’s properties would resemble those of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, but would not share its high-producing effects. THC joins nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as agents that, in moderation, have shown some protection against inflammation in the brain that might translate to better memory late in life.“It’s not that everything immoral is good for the brain. It’s just that there are some substances that millions of people for thousands of years have used in billions of doses, and we’re noticing there’s a little signal above all the noise,” said Gary Wenk, professor of psychology at Ohio State and principal investigator on the research.Wenk’s work has already shown that a THC-like synthetic drug can improve memory in animals. Now his team is trying to find out exactly how it works in the brain.The most recent research on rats indicates that at least three receptors in the brain are activated by the synthetic drug, which is similar to marijuana. These receptors are proteins within the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in memory as well as physiological processes associated with appetite, mood and pain response.This research is also showing that receptors in this system can influence brain inflammation and the production of new neurons, or brain cells.“When we’re young, we reproduce neurons and our memory works fine. When we age, the process slows down, so we have a decrease in new cell formation in normal aging. You need those cells to come back and help form new memories, and we found that this THC-like agent can influence creation of those cells,” said Yannick Marchalant, a study coauthor and research assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State.Marchalant described the research in a poster presentation Wednesday (11/19) at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.Knowing exactly how any of these compounds work in the brain can make it easier for drug designers to target specific systems with agents that will offer the most effective anti-aging benefits, said Wenk, who is also a professor of neuroscience and molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.“Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer’s disease if the disease is in their family? We’re not saying that, but it might actually work. What we are saying is it appears that a safe, legal substance that mimics those important properties of marijuana can work on receptors in the brain to prevent memory impairments in aging. So that’s really hopeful,” Wenk said.One thing is clear from the studies: Once memory impairment is evident, the treatment is not effective. Reducing inflammation and preserving or generating neurons must occur before the memory loss is obvious, Wenk said.Marchalant led a study on old rats using the synthetic drug, called WIN-55212-2 (WIN), which is not used in humans because of its high potency to induce psychoactive effects.The researchers used a pump under the skin to give the rats a constant dose of WIN for three weeks – a dose low enough to induce no psychoactive effects on the animals. A control group of rats received no intervention. In follow-up memory tests, in which rats were placed in a small swimming pool to determine how well they use visual cues to find a platform hidden under the surface of the water, the treated rats did better than the control rats in learning and remembering how to find the hidden platform.“Old rats are not very good at that task. They can learn, but it takes them more time to find the platform. When we gave them the drug, it made them a little better at that task,” Marchalant said.In some rats, Marchalant combined the WIN with compounds that are known to block specific receptors, which then offers hints at which receptors WIN is activating. The results indicated the WIN lowered the rats’ brain inflammation in the hippocampus by acting on what is called the TRPV1 receptor. The hippocampus is responsible for short-term memory.With the same intervention technique, the researchers also determined that WIN acts on receptors known as CB1 and CB2, leading to the generation of new brain cells – a process known as neurogenesis. Those results led the scientists to speculate that the combination of lowered inflammation and neurogenesis is the reason the rats’ memory improved after treatment with WIN.The researchers are continuing to study the endocannabinoid system’s role in regulating inflammation and neuron development. They are trying to zero in on the receptors that must be activated to produce the most benefits from any newly developed drug.What they already know is THC alone isn’t the answer.“The end goal is not to recommend the use of THC in humans to reduce Alzheimer’s,” Marchalant said. “We need to find exactly which receptors are most crucial, and ideally lead to the development of drugs that specifically activate those receptors. We hope a compound can be found that can target both inflammation and neurogenesis, which would be the most efficient way to produce the best effects.”The National Institutes of Health supported this work.Coauthors on the presentation are Holly Brothers and Lauren Burgess, both of Ohio State’s Department of Psychology.Complete Title: Scientists are High on Idea that Marijuana Reduces Memory ImpairmentSource: Newswise (VA)Published: November 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 NewswiseContact: editor newswise.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help

Comment #21 posted by FoM on November 20, 2008 at 19:45:28 PT
I agree about Bill Clinton. He said it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by afterburner on November 20, 2008 at 19:40:47 PT
Bill & the Clintonites 
Supposedly, Bill Clinton had a Change of Heart after leaving office as President and said that cannabis should be decriminalized. We can 'Hope' that his posse has had the same Change of Heart.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by afterburner on November 20, 2008 at 19:33:45 PT
HempWorld #11 & The GCW #13-14 
CN ON: Appeal Date Set For Pot Priests, Hamilton Spectator, (19 Nov 2008)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by FoM on November 20, 2008 at 07:09:59 PT
I'm not worried. Obama has made good decision thru his long campaign. I don't know anyone who thinks exactly the same on different issues as they did years ago. We grow with time. Society changes and perceptions change too at least that is how I see people's opinions that I know from my part of the country.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by Hope on November 20, 2008 at 07:02:50 PT
Dredging up old Clintonites and drug warriors
doesn't sound like good "Change" to me. I'm worried about that. But maybe they've changed their wicked ways. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on November 20, 2008 at 05:53:48 PT
I'm not worried because my hope as always has been that we would offer treatment to people addicted to hard drugs that are legal but obtained illegally or illegal instead of prison. I don't expect miracles since I personally know people who are still stuck in the time warp of hate towards hard drug users and want them locked up.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by runruff on November 20, 2008 at 03:14:29 PT
Obama y Clinonites
With the way Mr. Obama is stacking his cabinet with former Clintonites I'm a little worried. Clinton's Drug Czar made more pot bust than any admin. in history. Some of his upper level staff have a history of pushing or implementing this nasty war on us.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by The GCW on November 19, 2008 at 19:38:14 PT
REV. 2:7
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.' 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by The GCW on November 19, 2008 at 19:13:36 PT
Hemp World - SYMBIOSIS
Hemp World,Through the spirit of truth, We may find out.Humans were created to use the tree of life… and We’ve used it for thousands of years… and We have THC receptor sites in Our brains… Does the human body contain other traces of genes or similar traits due to the long established usage of the tree of life?Do those receptor sites or any other like-existence with-in the human body… increase with the tree of life’s use and decrease / diminish with less use?When / while We know there existance there, We can / should expand Our questioning.Expanding Our expectation of reality toward reality increases the likelyhood to find out the truth.The enemy would want to weaken any tree of life connection the human body may contain.What We know about the human body relationships with the tree of life today is perhaps miniscule compared to what to come. -And the enemy wants to diminish it before We find out about it.-The enemy is the devil and the devil wants to rid humans of the tree of life. The tree of life helps expose the devil.-0-The Ecologician created Us with the tree of life in mind and created the tree of life with Us in mind. SYMBIOSIS.The Ecologician also told Us to obey Him and love one another and in so doing We will receive the spirit of truth, which will teach Us all things; SYMBIOSISWhen We obey and love one another, The Ecologician can work through Us; SYMBIOSIS. Positive symbiosis.Then the devil can not do His work through Us. When We don't obey and love one another, the devil is able to do His work through Us; SYMBIOSIS. Negative symbiosis.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by HempWorld on November 19, 2008 at 18:45:51 PT

I forgot to add ...
Humans will never find out exactly how Cannabis works, we are not smart enough. (starting with me).Hence, it is forbidden! Verboten! You can't have it!Actually the US prohibition on Cannabis has made it very popular, world-wide! Hooray ... Thank you Johnny!
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by HempWorld on November 19, 2008 at 18:19:23 PT

My e-mail:
Dear Newswise,
Thank you for your news.
You just published this title: “Scientists are High on Idea that Marijuna Reduces Memory Impairment”
Is Marijuna meant to be Marijuana?
Who is impaired now?Reply:Thanks HempWorld. Somehow that got through. Should be fixed now. I hope you’re not implying that we are indulging in illegal substances on the job. ;-)All the best,
ThomReply to reply:Dear Thom,Thank you for your e-mail.It’s legal in California!
Take care,OT on a happier note; I want to start a guest list to schmoke marijuana in the white house on Obama's up and coming Rasta Party! Date to be announced. So, let's start with Cheech and Chong as first on the list!? ... Any suggestions, any one, Storm Crow, Museman, Hope, FoM, ripit, observer, etc. etc.On a serious note; Cannabis is the tree of life, it is the only plant that engenders auto genesis. Hence, the tree of life; Cannabis is life giving and no other plant or (God forbid, human 'medicine') has these properties.Amen! Thank you God!* Auto Genesis; the ability for cells to regenerate themselves.
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 19, 2008 at 17:55:31 PT

Storm Crow
I believe over the next few years we will see more and more of it happening.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 19, 2008 at 17:54:12 PT

Pot Joins The Fight Against Alzheimer's
Pot Joins The Fight Against Alzheimer's, Memory LossNovember 19, 2008A large-scale study released this week showed that the herb gingko biloba has no effect in preventing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But alternative medicine aficionados may find hope in a new research touting the bennies of another "herb" in preserving memory. Scientists from Ohio State University report that marijuana, contrary to the conventional wisdom, may help ward off Alzheimer's and keep recall sharp. Their findings, released today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.: chemical components of marijuana reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of new brain cells, thereby enhancing memory. The team suggested that a drug could be formulated that would resemble tetrahydroannibol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot sans making the user high. But the research may ultimately drive those who fear impending dementia to roll their own solution to the problem. Study co-author Gary Wenk, a professor of psychology, had already devised a preliminary version of a THC-like synthetic drug that improves memory in lab animals. His team at the meeting said that it works by activating at least three receptors in the brain targeted by THC—proteins on the surface of nerve cells that then trigger cellular processes resulting in reduced inflammation and production of new brain cells that can boost recall. Understanding how the compounds work may pave the way for a pharmaceutical company to prepare its own med for human clinical trials. The researchers ducked the obvious question of whether it might be simpler, faster and cheaper to simply light up a joint. “Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer’s disease if the disease is in their family?" Wenk said in a statement. "We’re not saying that, but it might actually work.”Copyright: 2008 Scientific American Inc.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by Storm Crow on November 19, 2008 at 17:33:59 PT

Totally OT, but it does my heart good!'s indictment in south Texas moves forward     
     By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Christopher Sherman, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 36 mins ago  
RAYMONDVILLE, Texas – A Texas judge has set an arraignment for Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials accused of involvement in prisoner abuse.Presiding Judge Manuel Banales (buh-NAHL'-ehs) said Wednesday he will allow them to waive arraignment or have attorneys present rather than appear in person Friday.Banales also said he would issue summonses, not warrants. That allows them to avoid arrest and the need to post bond.Willacy County District Attorney Juan Guerra (GEHR'-uh) accuses Cheney, Gonzales, a state senator and others of involvement in prisoner abuse at a federal detention center in south Texas. (snipped)(May it be the first of many!)
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 19, 2008 at 15:42:08 PT

KCRA 3 News: Medical Pot Group Sues DMV
Patient's License Revoked November 19, 2008MERCED, Calif. -- A medical marijuana advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Motor Vehicles for revoking the driver's license of a woman because of her status as a medical pot patient.Americans for Safe Access sued the department on behalf of 53-year-old Rose Johnson. Her attorneys said she has had a clean driving record for 37 years.The suit claims the DMV refused to renew her license in July because of her status as a medical marijuana patient.Attorney Joe Elford said the DMV can't "simply disregard" the state's medical marijuana law. His group asserts that similar situations have occurred in at least eight counties.The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Merced Superior Court. A message left at the DMV wasn't immediately returned.Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by Mike on November 19, 2008 at 15:07:56 PT

Pamela Anderson's letter to Obama - Legalize
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by observer on November 19, 2008 at 13:42:54 PT

But Don't Smoke Pot!
Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer’s disease if the disease is in their family? We’re not saying that, but it might actually work.That's a refreshing change. Usually such articles' main moral is, "True, cannabis may treat ________, but don't smoke pot!"How much Alzheimer's has already been prevented by pot, we'll never know. The good things that cannabis does for people doesn't seem to get so much time on the evening news as the continuing narrative on the evils of drugs.

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 19, 2008 at 13:21:59 PT

This is want happens when the federal government fails to keep people from studying cannabis.On nearly every aspect, cannabis has medical value. Is there any facet of medical value that's been studied that shows it does not have value?When the Ecologician created cannabis, We received a blessing.There is more to learn about why cannabis is prohibited than what We've been told.Cannabis has spiritual qualities along with every other quality that it provides. Some people in positions of world power stand to lose, if the provisions of cannabis are fully disclosed.The people in power that know, don't want everyone to realize cannabis is the tree of life.Imagine how things would be different if everyone knew and accepted cannabis for what it is: THE TREE OF LIFE.Earth can not and will not progress with out realizing cannabis IS the tree of life. We're not goin' anywhere with out utilizing the T of Life. Period!-0-Is there any question that cannabis will continue to show additional and additional and additional medical value?Nothing; absalutely nothing prohibitionists do can change that reality.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by museman on November 19, 2008 at 11:45:33 PT

YHWH provides us with this wonderful plant that is the single most useful medicine for treatment AND PREVENTION of numerous ailments and disease, called cannabis, but that's not good enough for the 'professional' 'doctors'?It's not good enough that nature has provided us with all that we need, and our profane attempts to do better than God all result in failure ultimately, but really isn't it about profit?If the pharmas, banks, and politicians can't control it, and regulate it according to their terms of inflationary - non-value, debt-based economy, then it can't be allowed, no matter how well it works.C'mon America, wake up. Stop giving your God-given rights and providence to monsters -regardless of how good they look.George Orwell would not believe how well the powers of the status quo got by his dramatic warning, and how all those multitudes who read his words allowed it to happen.J.R.R. Tolkein would not believe that Frodo never manifested, and that Mount Doom got moved to D.C.This government, it's institutions, its 'professions' indeed EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES is corrupt and diseased. it is an abomination and affront to all that is Sacred and Holy in the sight of YHWH.So how far will the buying and selling of God's Providence go before people start realizing the truth?             *******The First Precedent of ALL LAW is the aknowlegement, and the belief in the existence of God. Western Law is based solidly on Biblical reference to the Ten Commandments.If any officer, or representative of 'law' cannot 'swear' by their own standards of 'truth' to believe and aknowlege the existence and preimminence of God and His laws, then by the very SUBSTANCE and FOUNDATION of all LAW they ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO PRACTICE LAW.The words are all there. The verbal aknowlegement or 'lip service' to the Truth exists, yet because people fearfully invest their belief and trust in the wrong, false 'authorities' they do not know how to access and use the truth to defend their God-Given rights and freedom.God provided us with 'every seed bearing plant' to be used as food, fuel, sustenance, and medicine for the healing of our bodies and minds. Us. Not specificly 'acredited' pretenders sanctioned by arbitrary, and temporal groupings of self proclaimed authorities. Us, collectively, holisiticly, all together. You and me, not 'just them.'YHWH did not design any system of weights and measures or 'economic' system. He did not qualify or endorse any 'medium of exchange.' He did not set any 'regulated' standards of access, or 'limited use' to His Creation, (though much knowlege on the subject of wise use of resource is included in His conversations with those who have been able to connect with Him, and on record in various forms).The US Government is against God, Creation, Providence, and every thing else right and good. It is an abheration, a horror that needs to disappear from the face of the planet, and will, soon. Of course the transition from corruption into reality would go a lot smoother if more people would stop worhiping the beast in so many things that they do, but its not bloody likely.LIBERATE THE WONDER MEDICINE FOR EVERYONE
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 19, 2008 at 09:57:11 PT

They spelled it wrong and I missed it. I will try to fix it.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on November 19, 2008 at 09:47:15 PT

Marijuna? Is this a new plant?
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment