THC might not only help prevent age-related memory loss. It may also help to avoid the worn of other cognitive related issues caused by brain’s aging process.
For a long time, medical uses of cannabinoids have been a major subject of study for scientists and investigators. A couple of months ago a 13 million dollars program focusing new medical therapy uses of cannabinoids was launched by the University of Oxford.
In the U.S, several THC-based medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also, researches are being held to determine how cannabinoids’ potential treatments would help in problems like:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Other neurological conditions
In other words, the medical landscape for THC is expanding, as well as its acceptance in new medical treatments and therapies.
How Can THC Help Prevent Age-Related Memory Loss?
In the University of Bonn, Germany, a group of researchers conducted an investigation about THC effects in mice. The study published in Nature Medicine had the purpose to figure out how it would affect aging brains. Scientists gave low doses of THC to mice. To categorize how it would work in different stages of life, they had 3 different groups of mice:
- Two months old mice
- Twelve months old mice
- Eighteen monts old mice
After putting all the groups in different tasks related to finding the way out of a maze, reminding an object’s location and recognizing a partner; younger mice had a way better performance, while older groups didn’t do so well. The exact opposite happened the second time the groups went through these tests. Older mice which were given small doses of THC showed a significant improvement in their performance while younger mice did much worse.
A last group of tasks was assigned to the mice. Older once were given the medication while younger mice weren’t. Last task’s result was an almost equal performance done by younger and older mice. Scientists’ last notes read there was a long-lasting improvement in memory and cognitive performance in older animals.
Is it the Same for Humans?
Scientists say THC appears to restore hippocampal gene transcription patterns, which’s deterioration is the reason for age-related memory loss. This is the same for humans and animals. The investigation could lead to the development of a treatment focused on slowing down or even reverse cognitive decline in elder people by the administration of low doses of THC.
The investigation also left a wide range of fields open for further research. First of all, the differences between the performances of younger mice groups and older ones when both were under THC influence. The detrimental effects in the cognitive abilities of the younger group expose critical differences between younger and older animals’ brains, or even humans’.
Another aspect to be determined is the differences between animals’ and humans’ lifespan. The lifespan of mice is about one year and a half, while humans’ life expectancy is up to 75 years. When would be the best time to start a medical cannabis treatment in order to avoid age-related memory loss and other cognitive issues?
Last but not least, scientists believe these findings may lead to the development of effective treatments against Alzheimer’s disease or even dementia.
Medical marijuana consumption is becoming very popular. The healthy properties of cannabis can no longer be denied. Here you can check some positive long-term effects of smoking marijuana daily.