Cannabinoids exert a neuroprotective effect on the cognitive deficits caused by vascular dementia, according to a new study published by the journal Psychiatry Research, and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health.
“Vascular dementia (VaD) is characteristic of chronic brain ischemia and progressive memory decline, which has a high incidence in the elderly”, states the study. “However, there are no effective treatments for VaD, and the underlying mechanism of its pathogenesis remains unclear.”
With that in mind, “This study investigated the effects of a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) on VaD, and molecular mechanisms of the effects.”
Using a variety of tests conducted on rat models, it was found that WIN55,212-2 – which is meant to mimic the effects of natural, cannabis-derived cannabinoids – “decreased the expression of Capase-3, and improved the learning and memory impairment of VaD rats.” Researchers state that “These data indicate that WIN exerts a neuroprotective effect on the cognitive deficits of VaD rats, which may be associated with the suppression of excessive autophagy and inflammation.”