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Scientists at the Salk Institute have recently discovered that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, among other compounds in marijuana can increase the cellular removal of amyloid, a toxic protein found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

David Schubert, Salk Professor and lead writer of the study, told Salk News,

“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”

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The THC activates receptors that conduct intercellular signaling in the brain, thus reducing amyloid beta levels and killing off inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is a serious side effect of Alzheimer’s, contributing to the mental and physical health decline in patients.

The study points to the importance of integrating cannabis into treatment of high-risk diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Read the full study published in the Aging and Mechanisms of Disease journal entitled “Amyloid proteotoxicity initiates an inflammatory response blocked by cannabinoids”.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash