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Marijuana has potential use for treatment of Alzheimer's disease

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There has been a growing interest in the possible medicinal properties of marijuana. The University of South Florida reported on Aug. 27, 2014 a recent study suggests a marijuana compound may offer treatment for Alzheimer's disease. A recent study by neuroscientists at the University of South Florida has showed that very low levels of the compound in marijuana which is known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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The researchers demonstrated that very low doses of THC decrease the production of amyloid beta, which is found in a soluble form in most aging brains, and helps to prevent abnormal accumulation of this protein. The accumulation of amyloid beta is a process which is considered one of the pathological hallmarks seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been observed that low concentrations of THC selectively enhance mitochondrial function, which is necessary to help supply energy, transmit signals, and sustain a healthy brain.

Findings from this research, which used a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease, have been reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential therapeutic qualities which THC has in respect to slowing or stopping the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer's disease. The results of this study have strongly suggested that THC may offer a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer's disease.

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