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Molecular Link - Active Component of Marijuana & Alzheimer's
3 years ago
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A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology
 

Lisa M. Eubanks,† Claude J. Rogers,† Albert E. Beuscher, IV,‡ George F. Koob,§ Arthur J. Olson,‡ Tobin J. Dickerson,† and Kim D. Janda†
 
Departments of Chemistry, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Molecular and Integrated Neurosciences Department (MIND), The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Worm Institute for Research and Medicine (WIRM), The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037.
Email: kdjanda@scripps.edu

 



Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients as well as reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β- peptide ( Aβ ) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.


Conclusion

We have demonstrated that THC competitively inhibits AChE, and furthermore, binds to the AChE PAS and diminishes Aβ aggregation. In contrast to previous studies aimed at utilizing cannabinoids in Alzheimer's disease therapy,8-10 our results provide a mechanism whereby the THC molecule can directly impact Alzheimer's disease pathology. We note that while THC provides an interesting Alzheimer's disease drug lead, it is a psychoactive compound with strong affinity for endogenous cannabinoid receptors. It is noteworthy that THC is a considerably more effective inhibitor of AChE-induced Aβ deposition than the approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease treatment, donepezil and tacrine, which reduced Aβ aggregation by only 22% and 7%, respectively, at twice the concentration used in our studies.7 Therefore, AChE inhibitors such as THC and its analogues may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease, augmenting acetylcholine levels by preventing neurotransmitter degradation and reducing Aβ aggregation, thereby simultaneously treating both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

3 years ago

pmc logo imageLogo of nihpa

3 years ago

When the religious fundies or anyone else argues against decriminalization of cannabis I have to wonder if they own stock in big pharma or the private prison industry.

 

There is not one reasonable excuse - not one - for Cannabis to be illegal, certainly not in light of it being a known natural remedy to so many illnesses and killer diseases.

 

3 years ago

Pot Use in Youth Ups Risk of Psychotic Symptoms in Later Life Longer the use, the higher the chance of long-lasting symptoms, study finds

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/03/02/pot-use-in--youth-ups-risk-of-psychotic-symptoms-in-later-life

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Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(THE NETHERLAND -- Marijuana may cause schizophrenia, according to a European study.

Almost 2,000 German participants ranging 14 to 24 years of age were monitored over a 10-year period for signs of psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.  None of them had a reported history of smoking pot or psychotic symptoms at the beginning of the study. 

The study participants were re-assessed after 3.5 years and again after 8.5 years for both marijuana use and psychotic symptom experiences.  The authors found that the participants who reported having smoked pot at 3.5 years into the study were 90 percent more likely to report experiencing psychotic symptoms during the later part of the study. 

Furthermore, those youths reporting continuous use throughout the study period were 2.2 times more likely to report persistent psychotic symptoms as well. 

Because pot use was reported before the onset of psychotic symptoms, the authors conclude that smoking pot can increase the risk of developing psychotic symptoms.

The study was released Tuesday by the British Medical Journal.

 

http://www.kgoam810.com/rssItem.asp?feedid=116&itemid=29639170

 

These just out ...I'm not a pot smoker but doesn't look good for those that would like the laws changed.

 

3 years ago

The study sounds like BS to me if I am to compare it to my own experience, which I can do.  As well, I can't imagine this 'study' isn't seriously flawed if it wasn't 'tightly controlled' and researchers knew of every thing the subjects ingested or were exposed to in their environs, which of course they didn't.

 

And hello?  What the hell were they doing using 14 year olds?  Was everyone smoking the same pot?  Where did it come from?  Was it grown organically, or not?

 

I have been regular pot user since I was 17 years old, as were friends and members of my family.  That is a 40 year long 'study' in real life, yet none of us have ever experienced any 'psychotic' symptons and certainly no hallucinations

 

Yeah, this so-called 'study' smacks of anti-cannabis propaganda and was probably funded by big pharma.

 

 

OK, after further digging on this 'study'...

 

...this from an article reporting on these so-called 'findings', from "MedLinePlus":

 

"Some 16 million people in the United States alone use marijuana regularly, and most started smoking in their teens. It is the third most widely used addictive substance after tobacco and alcohol."

 

POT IS NOT ADDICTIVE.  Period.

 

I am so f'ing sick of the lies lies lies.  It wouldn't bother me so much if people didn't believe them, but they do merely because... well I don't know why.  I don't know why people keep voting against themselves either but they do.  Maybe they are the ones who are having 'psychotic episodes'.

 

3 years ago

The laws need to change for sure but with stuff like this coming out it ....

3 years ago

The following is an except from a letter my son composed to send to one of our Seantors, Durbin, who of course supports the war on drugs "recognizing it's importance"   Anyway, son used an analogy that so simply exposed the obsurdity of criminalizing hemp, leaving zero grounds for rebuttal it, cracked me up.

 

He was elaborating on the why and who that was behind the prohibition against hemp.  It went like this...

 

Among the leaders was Harry J. Anslinger, America’s first drug czar and none other than William Randolph Hurst. Hurst obviously had heavy interest in the timber industry given that this was his primary source of paper.


What if it was the other way around? Would wood actually be illegal today? Just a thought.

 

Interesting info...
3 years ago

... thanks, Katii, for the info... now if I could only get my ancient granny to smoke up some weed instead of taking those awful meds for her dementia :o)

3 years ago

Kay, have you considered a vaporizor for Granny?

3 years ago

If cigarettes and booze are legal and they are much more dangerous than pot...hopefully with the states buget problems, pot will be legal and taxed.  Saving the tax payer prison money as well.  Hope they wake up soon!  Damn big pharma!!

3 years ago

Katii, a vaporizor will help with dementia??  Really???

ha, ha, ha....
3 years ago

seriously, Katii, I was just kidding around... granny takes a couple/few meds every day according to her doctors recommendations... including one for "brain function" (Excelon)... she doesn't smoke anything ... she has "old school" attitude towards marijuana (evil weed, gateway to more depraved drug use, etc.) & at 85 yrs. old, well... I don't think I could change her attitude very easily ... that is an interesting study, though... & I'd like to see some of this info & use go more main stream... I also saw another "comparison study" by a pediatrician Tylenol vs. marijuana & in every aspect, marijuana was a more effective treatment... I'll have to see if I can't locate that & get you a lead or link to that study...
thanks again... peace/kl

3 years ago

Psychotic symptoms don't usually present themselves until about age 18 or so (as a young adult)  regardless if they smoked pot or not.

 

The health news article doesn't state how many of the 2,000 kids monitored were the control group who didn't smoke pot. It's too small of a study if they did a fifty fifty %.

3 years ago

Ex, a pot vaporizer to Inhale the vapor instead of the smoke.  Maybe give Grandmother some official literature to read, she may change her mind, especially if you live in a state that allows MMJ where she'd get a 'prescription' from a 'doctor' - making it all very establishment official

 

 

3 years ago

with the states buget problems, pot will be legal and taxed.  Saving the tax payer prison money as well. -Ex

 

It really is a no-brainer all the way around.  How this escapes the average person regardless of any religious views is beyond me

 

3 years ago

I gottcha!  Vicks ain't gonna do it!  ha ha ha!

3 years ago

Well, if it was laced it would