Study Shows Marijuana 'considerably superior' for Alzheimer's

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IACM via BBSNews 2006-10-16 — New research shows that THC may prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function. Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that THC can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs. THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of amyloid beta protein.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for the disease. They wrote that THC “inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE- induced amyloid-beta-peptide (A-beta) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Computational modelling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis.”
(Sources: Eubanks LM, Rogers CJ, Beuscher AE IV, Koob GF, Olson AJ, Dickerson TJ, Janda KD. A Molecular Link between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology. Mol Pharm, 2006, Aug 9; [electronic publication ahead of print]; Reuters of 5 October 2006)

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