Daily dose of cannabis could reverse brain’s decline in old age, according to a study at the University of Bonn.
Regular low doses of THC dramatically boosted memory and learning in older mice. The discovery has raised hopes for a treatment that improves brain function in old age without inducing the behavioural effects well known to recreational users of the drug. To investigate whether it works in humans, the scientists plan to launch a clinical trial later this year.
Research on cannabis use by adolescents has found compelling evidence that regular, heavy use can impair the memory. But the impact of the drug on older people’s brains has been far less well studied. The boost in brain function in the German study was linked to an apparent restoration of gene expression in the brain to more youthful levels.
The German researchers believe that the drug works by stimulating what is known as the endocannabinoid system, a biochemical pathway that becomes less active with age in mice, humans and other animals. The discovery opens up a whole new scope for chemistry of the endocannabinoid system, as a potential target for new avenues of research, which could include illnesses like dementia.
Source may 8: theguardian.com