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Treating Alzheimer’s with Medical Marijuana

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory, behavior and thinking. In fact, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50 to 80 percent of all dementia diagnosis. Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s is not a normal stage of aging. Alzheimer’s is a disease that eats away at brain cells via the formation of plaque clumping across the brain.

Alzheimer’s is irreversible and progressive, meaning it worsens as time goes on. In the early stages, memory loss for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s is mild, but as the disease progresses, memory loss becomes more severe. Late-stage Alzheimer’s patients may even decline in regards to mobility as the disease continues to attack the portions of the brain that governs these functions.

Alzheimer’s Symptoms
As most people age, slower thinking and occasional forgetfulness is to be expected. However, more severe memory loss and confusion may be a sign that our brain cells are declining, by way of Alzheimer’s disease.

Difficulty remembering newly learned information is the earliest and most common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to the fact that Alzheimer’s disease usually starts in the portion of the brain that controls learning. As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe. Advanced Alzheimer’s symptoms includes mood and behavioral changes and disorientation; unexplained confusion in regards to occurrences, times and places; unjustified suspiciousness about family members, caregivers and friends; and complications with talking, swallowing and walking.

Clinical Trials, Studies and Publications:

Treating Alzheimer’s with Medical Marijuana
Treating Alzheimer’s with current pharmaceutical medications may provide no meaningful benefit when considering their high price tag and the risk of side effects. One of the five pharmaceutical Alzheimer’s drugs, although rarely prescribed, is known to cause severe liver damage. The remaining four pharmaceutical Alzheimer’s drugs are known to come with side effects such as dizziness, vomiting, muscle cramps and tremors.

Various studies have found that marijuana’s active ingredient may be better at inhibiting plaque formation in the brain, which is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for it’s affects on the brain, has been found to suppress the enzyme AChE, which is responsible for accelerating plaque formation across the brain for Alzheimer’s sufferers. THC, found in marijuana has been found to stop AChE from forming plaque across the brain. The top two performing pharmaceutical Alzheimer’s drugs have been found to stop AChE from forming plaque across the brain in Alzheimer’s patients only 22 percent and 7 percent, respectively. This indicates that treating Alzheimer’s with medicinal marijuana can be a more effective and safer alternative treatment to pharmaceutical drugs.