The number of people who suffer from dementia is rapidly increasing. About 45.7 million people have some type of dementia, worldwide. Some medicine is available to treat dementia but awful side effects of nausea and dizziness can occur. The best way one can take care of a loved one with dementia is with constant and extensive care. Since CBD is non-psychoactive and works with receptors within the brain, studies show results that CBD can help with dementia symptoms.
In the first study, mice demonstrate impairment in visual and social recognition from a variety of tests done. Over a course of three weeks the mice were given with CBD. The results show that the chronic CBD treatment reversed the cognitive deficits without displaying any behavior related to anxiety. CBD might be a therapeutic remedy for cognitive deficiencies.
To begin with, Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder where brain cells degenerate and die. The disease is part of the extracellular neuritic plaque of β-amyloid (Aβ), a sticky, chemical protein that builds-up between the nerve cells. Clumps of Aβ can block cell-to-cell signals which results in memory loss and confusion. CBD is shown to protect against Aβ neurotoxicity.
CBD can work as a CB1 receptor agonist to interrupt excitotoxicity, which reduces the glutamine release in the body. Lack of glutamine is not good to our body systems and has a direct effect on your memory. Because glutamine is most commonly found in the neurotransmitter, the sensory neurons send signals from the central nervous system to effectors, including muscles and glands.
The CB2 receptors are mainly in immune cells that work to reduce inflammation. CBD also works as a CB2 receptor agonist to reduce neuroinflammation which leads to plaque removal. Plaques are clusters of Aβ that trigger inflammation and destruct cells activated through your immune system cells.
In addition, Huntington’s disease creates movement, cognitive and psychiatric disorders based on progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. This is a hereditary disease and currently has no known cure. Movement disorders include involuntary jerking, muscle problems, slow movements, impaired posture, and difficulty with speech. Due to, a cognitive disorder symptoms can be difficulty learning, slow with thoughts and words, and lack of awareness.
The caudate nucleus, putamen and globus pallidus are where cannabinoids in the CB1 receptor will bind to. The caudate nucleus has a major impact on one’s memory or learning; the intake of information. In the front of the brain at the basal nuclei region, the caudate nucleus enteracts with various brain diseases which affect essential functions such as movement and learning. Strong with the caudate nucleus, putamen involves in a feedback loop to that prepares the movement of limbs. Jerky, involuntary movements are symptoms Huntington’s disease has on a person. Globus pallidus involves the regulation of voluntary movement which can also have effects on movement on the subconscious level. Cannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors to exert their efforts in regards to the microglia or the brain cells that clear all cellular debris.
Finally, lack of dopamine in the body leads to Parkinson’s disease. Nerve cells in the brain have direct affect from Parkinson’s disease resulting in muscle tremors, sleep problems, rigidity and differences in speech and gait. There is no cure for people who have Parkinson’s disease although treatments are available. So, for those who are looking to find relief of Parkinson’s disease, CBD and other cannabinoids might be able to help.
Cannabinoids do not seems to have an impact on the CB2 receptor; instead cannabinoids react to decrease the substantia nigra and increase dopaminergic projecting areas within the CB1 receptor. Dopamine congregates around the same area known as the substantia nigra to relay messages from the substantia nigra to other parts of the brain that control one’s movements. The cause is a decrease in substantia nigra would affect the communication to and from the brain. Projecting areas are different places of the brain there neurons travel to release dopamine.
It doesn’t matter what type of dementia one suffers from; whether a friend, family member or care-receiver might have, the body’s endocannabinoid system might be able to provide the relief one is looking for without the harsh side effects. There is a lot to still be studied on the effects CBD has on people with dementia but based on preclinical and clinical trials, to date, there could be hope that CBD can help people with dementia.