Thursday, July 7, 2016
Marijuana Compound (THC) Removes Alzheimer’s-Related Protein From Nerve Cells
With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease expected to almost triple in the United States by 2050, there is an urgent need to identify effective treatments for the condition.
Now, a new study suggests marijuana may hold the key to such a treatment.
Published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, the study reveals how a compound present in marijuana triggered the removal of beta-amyloid protein from nerve cells, or neurons.
Beta-amyloid is considered a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease; the protein clumps together in the brain of people with the condition, forming plaques.
Studies have suggested these beta-amyloid plaques disrupt communication between neurons in the brain, which leads to symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, such as impaired memory.
Preventing beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain might seem like an obvious way to tackle Alzheimer’s, but because researchers are still unclear of the exact role the protein plays in the disease process, achieving such a feat is easier said than done.Paper:http://www.nature.com/articles/npjamd201612