Activation of the body’s CB2 receptors, something done naturally through the consumption of cannabis, is a “useful therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease”, according to a new study.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a multifactorial disorder for which there is no disease-modifying treatment yet”, states the abstract of the study, published in the journal CNS Drugs. “CB2 receptors have emerged as a promising therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease because they are expressed in neuronal and glial cells and their activation has no psychoactive effects.”
The aim of this study was “to investigate whether activation of the CB2 receptor would restore the aberrant enhanced proliferative activity characteristic of immortalized lymphocytes from patients with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It is assumed that cell-cycle dysfunction occurs in both peripheral cells and neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, contributing to the instigation of the disease.”
The study’s method included using lymphoblastoid cell lines from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and age-matched control individuals, and treating them with a new, in-house designed drug called PGN33, which is meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids by serving as an agonist for the CB2 receptors. Researchers “analyzed the effects of this compound on the rate of cell proliferation and levels of key regulatory proteins. In addition, we investigated the potential neuroprotective action of PGN33 in β-amyloid-treated neuronal cells.”
Researchers report that “PGN33 normalized the increased proliferative activity of Alzheimer’s disease lymphoblasts. The compound blunted the calmodulin-dependent overactivation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, by restoring the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 levels, which in turn reduced the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase/pRb cascade. Moreover, this CB2 agonist prevented β-amyloid-induced cell death in neuronal cells.”
The study concludes by stating; “Our results suggest that the activation of CB2 receptors could be considered a useful therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease.”
More information on this study can be found by clicking here.
This study is, of course, far from the only research to indicate that cannabis can help treat Alzheimer’s disease. A study released in March in the journal Neurochemical Research concluded by stating “Our data suggests that this major component of Cannabis sativa, which lacks psychoactivity may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of AD.”
A study released in 2016 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that “Adding MCO [medical cannabis oil] to AD [Alzheimer’s disease] patients’ pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option.”