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CBD May Prevent and Alleviate Alzheimer’s

CBD May Prevent and Alleviate Alzheimer’s

More than 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a fatal, incurable neurodegenerative disorder associated with cognitive and memory deterioration. It’s a heartbreaking disease that eventually robs patients of their ability to remember even their closest friends and family—and it kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined. While there are medications that can temporarily relieve symptoms, the relief is often barely noticeable and the side effects can be severe. But recent study suggests some exciting findings: CBD may not only help improve cognitive function but also may help prevent AD entirely.

AD is characterized by neuroinflammation, as amyloid plaques, or misfolded proteins, form between nerve cells in the brain. Cells clump around these plaques to clear them, but these plaques cause inflammation that damages nerve cell connections and leads to cell death, which then affects memory. In the study, done by the China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing, CBD helped regulate the cell-damaging inflammation, thereby enhancing cognitive function—and demonstrated a protective effect against the protein that is an AD-onset biomarker. (That same protein is also associated with mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and other cognitive disorders.) 

Researchers administered the AD biomarker in mice and treated some with CBD. To measure its effect, they put both groups of mice through a water maze used ubiquitously as a spatial learning and memory test for rodents. The mice who were not treated with CBD showed cognitive issues and took longer to find the escape platform. Those who were given CBD, on the other hand, found the platform in significantly less time, which suggests an improvement in cognitive function. 

"In essence, CBD appears to alleviate synaptic dysfunction and bestow neuroprotection in Aβ1–42-induced mice," the study reads. “These findings support the potential inclusion of CBD in future nutritional guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease prevention.”

While more research needs to be done, this is an important and promising study. Click here if you’d like to read more about how CBD may help brain health. 

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