As the youth grow up, they are warned about the “dangers” of marijuana and other substances. The supposed danger, as echoed by many, is that marijuana makes people become unkempt, irresponsible, lazy and ultimately, running-on-the-streets-naked (that is, madness). Some religious preachers go as far as to say that marijuana users are hell-bound. Since the 1950s, thousands have been jailed; countless properties have been confiscated by the government, and taxpayers’ money has been wasted on the war on drugs in Nigeria, through the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
As we get older, the brain ages. As the brain ages, cognitive ability decreases. Short-term memory, learning new things, or devoting attention to several things at the same time becomes more difficult. Researchers have long been looking for ways to slow down or even reverse this process. Scientists at the University of Bonn and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) have now achieved this in mice.
A new study published in Nature Medicine reports that low-doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient of cannabis, given to mice helped to restore and even reverse some effects of age-related decline in cognitive performance, as well as enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins, and increased hippocampal spine density. These results are very promising for treatment and prevention of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The Endocannabinoid System and Aging
There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of a system that modulates the physiological processes underlying aging. The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the tissues of the aging brain.
CB1 receptors are proteins to which substances dock and thus trigger a signal chain. Because THC accumulates at the receptor, CB1 is also the reason for the euphoric and “”high” effects of THC found in cannabis and high-THC cannabis products. As we age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces, leading to rapid aging in the brain.
The Zimmer, et al., Study
To test the effects of cannabis on the brain, Andreas Zimmer, director of the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn, worked with a team of researchers to study the effects of THC on mice.
mouseResearchers chose mice because there are some really important similarities between humans and mice. Because they are both mammals, the hippocampus and other brain parts involved with learning and memory function the same. Humans and mice also have the same proteins and biological systems, and a similar endocannabinoid system. However, mice have a relatively short life expectancy and display pronounced cognitive deficiencies even at 12-mos. old.
Mice were grouped by age (2 months, 12 months, and 18 months), along with a control group that was left untreated. Each group was tested for cognitive capacities before and after the treatment cycle. The team put the mice through several behavioral and ability tests, like the Morris water maze, to test their capacity to learn and adapt to changes in their environment, as well as their ability to remember and recognize other mice.
All of the mice, except the control group, were administered low doses of THC over a period of four weeks, via an implant.
“The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals. It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock.” – Prof. Andreas Zimmer, Institute of Molecular Psychiatry
To discover precisely what effect the THC treatment had on the mice, the researchers examined the brain tissue and gene activity of the treated mice. In the older mice, they found that the molecular signature no longer corresponded to that of an old animal, but was instead very similar to that of its younger counterpart.
The research team found that THC reversed the age-related cognitive decline in the 12-mo. and 18-mo. old mice. This behavioral effect was accompanied by increased synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. The number of links between the nerve cells in the brain also increased again, which is an important prerequisite for learning ability. In fact, the THC treatment worked so well that the performance of the 12-mo. old THC-treated mice closely resembled that of the untreated 2 mo. old mice in the control group.
These findings suggest that restoration of CB1 signaling in older people could be an effective strategy to treat ailments of the aging, such as dementia.
THC Affects the Brain Differently Depending on Maturity Level
The Zimmer et al. study made an interestingly discovery, however. The younger mice that were treated with THC performed on par with the older untreated mice. Deficiencies or an overabundance of cannabinoids can cause cognitive processing difficulties. Therefore, the THC consumed by the younger mice made it harder for them to learn and remember, but that same amount of THC consumed by the older mice helped them restore a declining internal balance of brain chemicals.
Researcher Onder Albayram was interviewed by Inverse Science, and asked what accounts for these behavioral changes. Albayram replied, “The young brain has lots of endocannabinoids, and an old brain has significantly less. That’s why when you give THC to a young brain, which can access lots of endocannabinoids, this confuses the brain. But when you give THC to old brains, they have less endocannabinoid binding affinity, so the brain experiences a plasticity change to adapt to high THC.”
The control group of mice who were only given a placebo displayed natural age-dependent learning and memory losses.
spesso è difficile per me aggiornarvi su proprio tutte le notizie che vedo online sulle ricerche in atto la momento, ma oggi vediamo insieme una lista di alcune notizie relative alla Sclerosi Multipla, che sono apparse suMS News Todaydurante la settimana scorsa e che hanno catturato in qualche modo la mia attenzione.
Axim firma un contratto per avanzare le sperimentazioni cliniche di una gomma a base di Cannabis (MedChew Rx) per curare il dolore nella SM
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come già sappiamo, fumare fa male e senza ripetere tutti i danni che il fumo procura all’organismo, vi ricordo soltanto che accelera il rischio di demenza, fa invecchiare prima il cervello, con un declino che inizierebbe già a 45 anni di età, e come se non bastasse uccide le cellule immunitarie che proteggono comunemente le persone dalla sclerosi multipla e da altre malattie autoimmuni.
Questo è quanto è emerso da una nuova ricerca dell’Università di Copenaghen; una constatazione questa che potrebbe condurre a nuovi modi di trattare tali malattie. Lo studio dal titolo “Smoking reduces circulating CD26hiCD161hi MAIT cells in healthy individuals and patients with multiple sclerosis,” ovvero “Il fumo riduce le cellule circolanti CD26hiCD161hi MAIT negli individui sani e nei pazienti con sclerosi multipla”, è stato pubblicato nel prestigiosoJournal of Leukocyte Biology.
“È chiaro che il fumo è dannoso per la…
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oggi vorrei parlarvi dell’infiammazione “silente”. L’infiammazione nei nostri corpi, infatti, può essere molto “subdola”, e non sto parlando della buona infiammazione, prodotta da quel gruppo di superormoni chiamati eicosanoidi (eye-KAH-sa-noids), i quali fanno sì che il nostro sistema immunitario possa combattere malattie, virus e altri invasori contribuendo alla riparazione dei tessuti dopo le lesioni. Mi rivolgo invece all’infiammazione cronica silente, che accade quando gli eicosanoidi “cattivi” pro-infiammatori sono in eccesso rispetto a quelli “buoni”. Gli eicosanoidi vengono suddivisi in base alla loro azione biologica. Essi esercitano molte funzioni e per questo motivo sono conosciuti come superormoni. Ecco perché in medicina si usa differenziarli sommariamente in eicosanoidi “buoni” e “cattivi”.
Gli eicosanoidi modulano:
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THE NEW LEGISLATION IN MEXICO GIVES APPROVAL OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR PATIENT USE AND FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.
The Mexican Chamber of Deputies passed some amendments to the General Health Law and the Federal Penal Code to permit the medical, therapeutic and research of marijuana, effectively legalizing medical marijuana in Mexico.
This is a major milestone in marijuana legalization, as not only is cannabis approved for patient use, but for research. For Mexico to open up the possibility of additional research is a huge win for both the patient and scientific community.
The Chamber of Deputies (Lower House of Congress) was 371 in favor and seven against with 11 abstentions. The bill now will be signed by President Enrique Pena Nieto.
With Friday’s vote, Mexico will join other nations in Latin America and 28 states in the US that allow cannabis for a variety of medical ailments.
Proponents argued in favor of legalization as a means to help the country reduce drug-related violence and misuse, President Enrique Pena Nieto agreed.
The newly approved bill allows the Health Ministry to develop the regulations for the medical use and production of products made from marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s main psychoactive ingredient is also approved in the bill but products with only one percent concentration of THC will be allowed.
Under the newly approved guidelines, growing marijuana for medical and scientific purposes will not be punishable.
IN MEXICO ONE FAMILY WOULD HAVE HELP TO CHANGE OPINIONS AND LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Last year a family in northern Mexico became the voice of the country to legalize medical marijuana when the parents of a young epileptic girl, Grace Elizalde, won a court battle to import a cannabis oil for her treatment. Anecdotal evidence from other patients who suffer from seizure disorders helped to persuade the health ministry to allow Grace to try CBD oil as a treatment after exhausting all other treatment options, including surgery to sever her corpus callosum, the nerve fibers dividing two halves of her brain, the procedure only worsened her condition.
Suffering from 400 epileptic seizures every day, eight-year-old Grace Elizalde would become Mexico’s first authorized purchaser of medical marijuana.
Grace’s father, Raul Elizalde, said that the legislation represented “great progress.”