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The researchers found a dramatically reduced functioning of cannabinoid receptors in diseased brain tissue.
This was an indication that patients had lost the capacity to experience cannabinoids' protective effects.
The Alzheimer's Society looks forward to seeing further research being carried out on cannabinoid receptors as drug targets for Alzheimer's disease but would warn the public against taking marijuana as a way of preventing Alzheimer's.
It is now generally recognised that as well as providing a 'high', long-term use of marijuana can also lead to depression in many individuals.' ...
Microglia collect near the plaque deposits associated with Alzheimer's disease and, when active, cause inflammation.The next step was to test the effect of cannabinoids on rats injected with the amyloid protein that forms Alzheimer's plaques.Those animals who were also given a dose of a cannabinoid performed much better in tests of their mental functioning.If it is possible to make drugs that act only on CR2, as suggested by the authors of this study, they might mimic the positive effects of cannabinoids without the damaging ones of marijuana.However, this is a fairly new field of research and producing such selective drugs is not an easy task.