By William Stash Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
One of the most prestigious journals in the world just published a study on mice that showed cognitive improvement when exposed to tetrahydrocannabidol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Published online May 8th in Nature Medicine at www.nature.com, showed promise in the possible treatment of cognitive impairment in older humans. The study determined, “a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months.”
Entitled A chronic low dose of [Delta]9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice, the study was conducted by the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. The primary researchers inculded Dr. Andras Bilkei-Gorzo and Dr. Onder Albayram, a senior research fellow with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Albayram was awarded a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association in 2016.
Their findings were notably positive. They reported that the THC apparently affected the processes in the brain that handle “signaling” between cells, a vital function of proper cognitive functioning. They reported, “THC treatment affected molecular processes relevant to cell plasticity and signaling in mature animals were further validated by the results of the weighted gene correlation network analysis.”
The THC caused marked changes in the mice when given a “chronic” low dose of the compound. They explained in their supplemental information on the study, “ … The THC effects cannot be explained by a simple scenario, such as an increased klotho levels. It is more likely that THC induced global changes in chromatin structure and gene expression, which resulted in a synaptic reorganization and altered neuronal signaling.”
The study shows promise. Their findings showed that the CB1 cannabinoid receptor signaling was possibly restored and that treatment with THC could possibly “be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments.”
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