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Why cbd and thc help treat Alzheimer's disease
Lane Simonian
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2018 3:22 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4779

The authors of the following article get really close to the causes and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

THC and CBD are potent antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These are important qualities because brain inflammation is thought to be a major contributor to Alzheimer’s.

The nitro-oxidant peroxynitrite causes inflammation as a result of DNA damage.  If you scavenge peroxynitrite early, you protect not only against inflammation but limit the damage that nitration and oxidation does to the brain (including problems with neurotransmitter levels, neurotransmissions, and the death of neurons).  Thus the antioxidant capacity of THC and CBD are the reasons why these compounds are neuroprotective.

"The neuroprotection by THC and CBD was because of attenuation of peroxynitrite."

Returning to the article:

The benefits of CBD on memory and cognition result largely from its ability to protect the brain’s hippocampus from toxins and disease. One important way CBD seems to protect these brain cells is by reducing the activation of microglia.

Microglia make up  ten percent of the cells in the brain. They’re similar to neurons and are “activated” following injury or in disease. Although the purpose of microglia is to protect other brain cells, their chronic activation leads to more harm than good. Activated microglia release glutamate, cytokines, and other harmful substances which, over time, kill neurons.

DNA damage leads to activated microglia and microglia activation via glutatmate release and NMDA receptor activation leads to the production of more peroxynitrite.  Anti-inflammatory drugs may help to reduce the production of peroxynitrite early on, but the use of anti-oxidants is key to stabilizing the disease early and to slowing its progression later on.