Perhaps the most exciting strides that cannabis researchers have made is the link between cannabis and untreatable ailments. Among these diseases is Alzheimer’s. Here is everything you need to know about this groundbreaking study.
Alzheimer’s is one of those heartbreaking diseases that seemingly don’t have a cure. While there is no known cure, there is still hope. This hope has come in the form of specialized treatments that target the care of the patient. The hope is to make patients more comfortable and to also engage previously lost memories. One treatment that is gaining momentum is the use of marijuana on patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s. But, how does it work? Here is what researchers have found.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that attacks the brain. This disease targets specific parts of the brain that control memory and basic human function. This means that many patients not only suffer from memory loss, by loss of bodily controls as well. Patients often forget to eat and take care of themselves which leads many of Alzheimer’s patients to be places in end of life care facilities.
It should also be said that Alzheimer’s disease is a hereditary condition that can affect any sex or person in the family tree. While most cases of Alzheimer’s appear in the elderly, it isn’t only limited to old age. There are tons of cases of early signs of Alzheimer’s hitting hard starting at middle age. This is commonly referred to as early onset Alzheimer’s.
There has been some progress when it comes to the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Therapy paired with certain medications has shown to help patients cope with the disease a little easier. However, it isn’t as easy as taking a pill. Patients need to undergo intense cognitive therapy to help restore memories and function. These sessions can often be hard for the patients because they require focus that sometimes can be lost.
The lack of successful treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has led medical researchers to seek other methods of therapy. This includes sense and family therapy in hopes of re-engaging lost memories. This makes the most sense since our memories are strongly tired to our senses like touch and smell. However, some argue it is not enough.
Cannabis Treatment for Alzheimer’s
When it comes to using marijuana as treatment for Alzheimer’s, the number one question is how. This is because marijuana has a bad reputation for being a “forgetful” drug. While there is some truth to that, cannabis works in four different ways to target the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Here is what researchers have found:
Encouraging Cell Regeneration
The magic of marijuana can be found within the chemical compounds that make up marijuana. These Cannabinoids have been known to help with inflammation as well as some neurological disorders. The idea is that this same Cannabinoids can help with neurological problems that are found in Alzheimer’s patients. Some studies show that these Cannabinoids can not only repair damaged brain cells but can also work to re-build them. By encouraging new cell growth, patients can work to re-learn once lost behaviors that will hopefully extend their lives.
Primarily Treating Symptoms
Perhaps the most important treatment that is offered with cannabis therapy is the treatment of life altering symptoms. Alzheimer’s patients suffer from a number of problems which includes lack of appetite, body pain and an inability to regulate certain bodily function. These are just some of the problems that marijuana has been known to help with. This along with improving the overall quality of a life is enough to convince the skeptics that cannabis is a strong contender for Alzheimer’s treatment.
Reducing Brain Plaques
Studies show that a main culprit when it comes to Alzheimer’s is the formation of dangerous plaques on the brain. This type of disease can spread from neuron to neuron leaving a trail of destruction in its path. While there is no cure to reverse the path of brain plaques, there may be another way. Researchers have shown a link between slowing down the formation of this plaque with the chemical compound THC. The hope that is through cannabis therapy, patients will be given more time when it comes to the deterioration of the brain.
We live in an age where we can no longer discount the medical benefits of marijuana. A once hopeless disease, like Alzheimer’s, has been given a fighting chance of recovery. Through the help of cannabis treatment as well as cognitive therapies, medical advantages are being made. This makes us hopeful for the future of not only cannabis, but other once untreatable problems as well.