Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder and the most common form of dementia, afflicting over 26 million people worldwide. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and much to be learned, research thus far has suggested that the disease is caused by brain-clogging plaques.
In a 2006 study by Kim Janda, PhD, Janda stated that, “Although our study is far from final, it does show that there is a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which THC may directly affect the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
In the study, Janda’s team found that THC limits the progression of the disease by blocking an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme speeds the formation of amyloid plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
When compared to popular alzeimer’s drugs Aricept and Cognex, the use of THC marginally outperformed both pharmaceuticals. In fact, when tested at double the concentration of THC, Aricept blocked plaque formation only 22% as well as THC, and Cognex blocked plaque formation only 7% as well as THC.
There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s and treatments are extremely limited. Doctors and researchers are hoping that they can find better ways to prevent and slow the progression of the disease.