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Alzheimer’s disease and the endocannabinoid system

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There are many similarities between cannabis and cannabis. Among them are the diverse therapeutic effects that both classes of drugs are now investigating, from fighting pain and inflammation to helping treat certain mental disorders. Also on the list: Alzheimer’s disease, and most popular Neurodegenerative disease with as many as 6.2 million Americans living with the condition. (The second most prevalent is Parkinson’s disease at 1.2 million.)

On the psychedelic front, a Article review It was published last year in the magazine Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience1 Makes a strong argument for LSD and psilocybin as potential treatments for this progressively disabling condition. Study now Underway in the Johns Hopkins University Psychedelic and Consciousness Research Center and another published in 20192 by narcotic medicine company eliosis Indicates a serious interest in Alzheimer’s disease among the hitters in the field.

And in the world of cannabis science, the plant has been studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease since at least the turn of the century. Today’s topic higher than ever. Scientific publisher Frontiers recently issued a call for papers on “targeting the endocannabinoidiome in neurodegenerative disorders,” recognizing the topic as a “hot area of ​​research.” (the term “endocannabinoidomeRefers to an extended endocannabinoid system, including mediators, enzymes, and additional molecular targets.)

In September 2021 alone, three papers appeared in the scientific literature summarizing much of what is known about Alzheimer’s disease and the endocannabinoid system.

Convention on Biological Diversity for Alzheimer’s disease

Article published in the magazine brain science3 reviews how the endocannabinoid system (ECSMay be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease – and how can CBDConvention on Biological Diversity) and other cannabinoids to help treat it. The discussion has become quite technical, but here are the most prominent authors of what science has been suggesting from the past two decades:

  • Postmortem analysis revealed changes in several components of ECS in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Expression CB1 Cannabinoid receptors are reduced, while CB2 Receptors are significantly increased in the frontal or parahippocampal cortex, “possibly in a time-dependent manner.”
  • increase the expression of CB2 Receptors appear in and around amyloid plaques (clumps of abnormally formed proteins that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline), suggesting a relationship between ECS Plaque is deposited.
  • Expression of enzymes FAAH [fatty acid amide hydrolase] And Majel [monoacylglycerol lipase] – which metabolize the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), respectively – increases in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. as well as the expression of a third key enzyme, DAGL [diacylglycerol lipase], which makes 2-AG.
  • Considering the modifying effects of cannabis on ECSCannabinoids may be good candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical trials have already reported that cannabis may be useful in reducing some symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

while both THC And Convention on Biological Diversity It offers promise in this regard and is known to protect the nerves, “the mental effects associated with THC poses a problem,” the authors write. (THCIntoxicating effects mediated by CB1, although the compound is also related to CB2; Convention on Biological Diversity It has no strong connection to either.) As a result, Convention on Biological Diversity It has attracted increasing attention for its therapeutic potential.

Targeting cannabinoid receptor 2 to treat dementia

A second recent review published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research4 In early September, it takes a slightly different path. Rather than focusing on the cannabis plant, it relies on many of the same factors that link ECS With Alzheimer’s disease to demonstrate the case of selective targeting CB2 (that do not mediate psychotropic effects) when new drugs are developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions.

In the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, CB2 Stimulants have shown promising results,” wrote the India-based authors. (“An agonist” activates the receptor and causes its signaling, while the antagonist blocks the receptor.) “Experimental evidence suggests that they may be useful in the management of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing inflammation, tau hyperphosphorylation, and beta aggregation. amyloid, [and] Oxidative stress, and cognitive function improvement”.

The paper cites many eclectic examples CB2 Agonists have been developed and tested to treat pain, arthritis, inflammation, and other conditions by companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Corbus Pharmaceuticals, and Eli Lilly. To date, however, medical scientists have not been able to translate the early clinical trials involving it CB2 Agonists in clinically effective and viable pharmaceutical preparations.

Alzheimer’s disease & gut germs

In recent years, the gut microbiome has emerged as a fascinating player in human health and disease. Disruptions in this system have been associated with a wide range of negative outcomes including obesity, cancer, and (you guessed it) neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Its interactions with the endocannabinoid system are often addressed in popular accounts of the gut microbiome. as a project Convention on Biological Diversity clearer in 2020 Article – Commodity, The ECS It acts as a kind of bridge between the resident bacteria and the body itself, including the brain, by transmitting signals back and forth within this mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.

In a recent review in the magazine life5 , a team of Italian researchers use the same metaphor to visualize how ECS It may be key to mediating the relationship between gut dysbacteriosis and physiology in Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers suggest that the two interacting systems may have a “commonality” in the disease. “The overlapping roles of the encodcannabinoid system and the microbiome… suggest that a novel approach such as the modification of microorganisms via [the ECS] May provide new therapeutic perspectives for treatment ad, they concluded.

Nate Seltenrich, a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology.

Copyright, Project Convention on Biological Diversity. It may not be reprinted without So.


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