11 March 2021

Cannabidiol against Alzheimer's

Cannabidiol significantly improved the condition of mice with Alzheimer's disease in just two weeks

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

Positive changes have occurred both at the molecular level and externally – in the behavior of animals and their cognitive abilities. The tested high dosages of cannabidiol have also been successfully tested in other clinical studies, so scientists intend to evaluate the effectiveness of experimental treatment of neurodegeneration directly in humans in the near future.

Article by Khodadadi et al. Cannabidiol Ameliorates Cognitive Function via Regulation of IL-33 and TREM2 Upregulation in a Murine Model of Alzheimer's Disease published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease – VM.

American scientists from Augusta University has shown that a two-week course of cannabidiol in high dosages can restore the function of two proteins, TREM2 and IL-33, which play a key role in reducing the number of accumulations of beta–amyloid proteins - toxic plaques in the brain, which are considered the main signs of Alzheimer's disease along with tau protein.

TREM2 and IL-33 proteins are essential for the normal function of the brain's immune cells to absorb dead cells and other waste products, such as beta-amyloids, accumulating in the brain. Against the background of the development of Alzheimer's disease, the levels of both proteins decrease.

Scientists conducted experiments with mouse models with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease. In patients with such genetics, the first symptoms of the disease appear quite early – approximately at the age of 30 to 40 years. The hereditary form of Alzheimer's disease occurs in about 10-15% of patients.

Treatment with cannabidiol for two weeks normalized the level and function of both proteins, and also improved the cognitive abilities of rodents. The compound was injected into the abdomen every other day.

Scientists have recorded that the levels of TREM2 and IL-33 increased ten and seven times, respectively. After treatment, the mice were better able to distinguish between new and already familiar objects, and they also stopped the behavior characteristic of neurodegeneration.

Currently, scientists are studying the optimal dosages of cannabidiol for the early stages of diseases (current experiments have studied the effect on mice in the late stages of the disease) in order to further evaluate the effect of therapy at the first signs of dementia. In addition, the team intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the delivery of cannabidiol using an inhaler.

Meanwhile, the current high dosages have already proven safety in humans in other studies, so scientists are planning an early start of clinical trials. According to scientists, cannabidiol should show approximately equal effectiveness for the non-hereditary form of Alzheimer's disease.

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