In Alzheimer’s disease, TREM2 and IL-33, two proteins important for the elimination of waste and possible beta-amyloid plaques, are at abnormally low levels. Result, waste accumulates, amyloid plaques are formed, which leads to a poorer neuronal connection, inflammation and even death of neurons.
In a new study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers are interested in CBD, or cannabidiol, made from cannabis known for its soothing and pain-relieving properties. Scientists there examined the ability of CBD to attack some of the major brain systems that malfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. They worked in mice, on a familial form of Alzheimer’s disease, that is to say when the disease is hereditary, and the symptoms of which appear early.
The team then discovered that CBD treatment seemed to normalize IL-33 levels, a protein that helps the brain detect a buildup of beta-amyloid proteins. CBD also improved TREM2 levels, an important protein for transmitting signals which in particular activate immune cells whose role is to eliminate any viruses but also damaged neurons. Treatment with CBD increased IL-33 and TREM2 levels seven-fold and ten-fold, respectively.
The study also reports better cognitive scores in mice treated with CBD compared to Alzheimer’s mice that did not consume this molecule.
The next research steps are to determine the optimal doses of CBD to use, and the best mode of administration (via an inhaler, for example). According to the researchers, it’s also a safe bet that CBD is also effective in non-familial forms of Alzheimer’s disease. A clinical trial could soon be conducted on this subject.
Source: Science Daily