Cannabinoids kill toxic Alzheimer’s proteins

Cannabinoids kill toxic Alzheimer’s proteins

Cannabinoids kill toxic Alzheimer’s proteins, according to the latest research from Salk Institute.

The Salk researchers found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can help with the removal of amyloid beta, a protein that forms plaque and causes Alzheimer’s disease.

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,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.

In a laboratory experiment, the researchers demonstrated that exposing cells to THC reduced levels of amyloid beta levels and got rid of the inflammation caused by the protein, therefore protecting the cells.

Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”

The study showing that cannabinoids kill toxic Alzheimer’s proteins was published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Burns Foundation and The Bundy Foundation.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Cannabinoids Remove Plaque-forming Alzheimer’s Proteins from Brain Cells.” Salk. Salk Institute, n.d. Web. 11 July 2016.
2. “Amyloid Proteotoxicity Initiates an Inflammatory Response Blocked by Cannabinoids.” Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 12 July 2016.

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