Posted on Aug 20, 2018, 10 p.m.
Contrary to the discredited anti-marijuana hysteria and propaganda of yesteryear trying to link cannabis to brain damage researchers have found compounds within cannabis actually promote neurogenesis.
Cannabis based medicine is stepping forward helping to take health care to higher levels once more, past emerging bodies of evidence have discovered the plant based remedy can help alleviate epileptic seizures, acute anxiety associated with PTSD, and bloating and abdominal pain linked to irritable bowel syndrome. Now addition research suggests certain types of medical marijuana may help to improve lives of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Medical marijuana is not a cure for dementia, but according to a new study the plant’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and stress relieving compounds appear to lessen many symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and agitation. Researchers are excited as this may open new paths for cannabinoids as a group for treatment of agitation in the disease.
University of Toronto studies involving Nabilone capsules already approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy investigated its use for treating Alzheimer’s disease patients in hopes of larger clinical trials to convince regulators to approve the cannabis based medication for dementia.
Cannabis is gaining much interest in treating a variety of cognitive disorders as it has been found to contain a host of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds that can help reduce oxidative stress that underlies cognitive decline as well as many other chronic diseases.
Contrary to the discredited anti-marijuana hysteria and propaganda of yesteryear trying to link it to brain damage researchers have found compounds in it promote neurogenesis which entails production of new nerve cells. Cannabis based medicine is being explored for treating depression, Parkinson’s disease, memory problems, age related cognitive impairment, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, and numerous other brain diseases.
While there is no known drug shown to reverse dementia, Nabilone and other forms of cannabis based medicines are believed to be able to help prevent further neurons from dying which should improve quality of life, and unlike other psychotropic medications Nabilone was found to be well tolerated, effective and safe for the patients who took it.
There is great debate over synthetic drugs or natural plant based marijuana superiority, both claiming to have superior qualities, and the debate is not likely to end anytime soon with both sides having valid points. The main point of excitement being growing agreement that some forms of cannabis based medicines appear to offer therapeutic value in treatment of patients with neurological and cognitive conditions including dementia.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have found that improved lighting design at care facilities may also help decrease insomnia, depression, and agitation in Alzheimer’s patients. Continuous dim lighting appears to upset and interfere with biological clocks; latest research suggests custom LED lighting providing brighter blue-white spectrum during the day and mellower yellow-white lighting at night may help to improve circadian rhythms of many dementia patients says Dr. Mariana Figueiro.
Dementia patients need alternatives to traditional pharmaceuticals that can be toxic and sedative. So far evidence suggests that cannabis based medications are nontoxic, well tolerated, and safe as compared to conventional drugs and may provide this much needed alternative non-pharmacological intervention to help improve quality of life.
In addition there is ample evidence that interventions such as guided physical activity, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory diets, memory stirring activities, gardening, sing a longs and musical activities, activities allowing for self expression, natural and familiar environments that reduce anxiety, and being embedded in social networks that include warmth and companionship, as all being factors that can help individuals with age related cognitive impairment.
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