How CBD Helps Treat Alzheimer's Disease | MedCard

How CBD Helps Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

There are indications that CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant is effective in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have revealed that CBD is instrumental in reducing the impact of inflammation, oxygen buildup and brain cell decline, which are all associated with Alzheimer’s disease. 

It is apparent that inflammation increases the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease and inflammatory response occurs when the brain’s immune cells fail to clear disorienting blockages. However, CBD can reduce inflammation, which is the core cause of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes the cells of the brain to waste away and eventually die. This condition is a leading cause of dementia, which is a continuous decline in thinking, behavior as well as social skills. As a matter of fact, Alzheimer’s disease is considered a progressive form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this condition accounts for an estimated 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. One of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is forgetfulness and sufferers may forget recent conversations and events. 

However, as the disease progresses, sufferers will develop severe memory impairment that will go a long way to affect their ability to function properly both at home and at work. That said, people with Alzheimer’s disease are likely to repeat statements and questions over and over, forget conversations, events and appointments, get lost in familiar places, routinely misplace possessions by putting them in illogical places, experience difficulties finding the right words to identify objects, as well as forget the names of family members and other familiar objects.

Alzheimer’s disease causes difficulties in concentrating, thinking and reasoning, especially on abstract subjects like numbers. Thus, multitasking and the ability to make judgments and decisions is very difficult for sufferers. It should also be noted that Alzheimer’s disease sufferers often go through brain changes which affects their moods and behaviors, thereby resulting in psychological conditions, including depression, social withdrawal, apathy, aggressiveness and irritability, distrust in others, loss of inhibitions, wandering as well as delusions. 

As the disease progresses to the last stage, the changes in the brain begin to affect physical functions like swallowing, bowel/bladder control and balance. These difficulties could in turn result in complications like pneumonia, aspiration (inhaling foods and other liquids into the lungs), falls, fractures, bed sores and malnutrition or dehydration. 

According to scientists, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. The risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease, therefore include old age, poor sleep pattern, poor lifestyle and heart health, a family history of the condition, and a past head trauma.

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, but there are medications that can ease the symptoms and make life normal for sufferers. The current Alzheimer’s disease medications (Cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine) are quite effective in treating memory symptoms and other cognitive changes, even though they are known to have adverse side effects. However, aside from medications, creating a safe and supportive environment will make life much more bearable for Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.

CBD has been proven to be effective in stimulating brain tissues in Alzheimer’s disease patients. It is worthy to note that the brain cells of Alzheimer’s disease patients often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. CBD on the other hand has the ability to reverse and even prevent such destructions. The findings from a 2011 study by Australian researchers revealed that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, which has also been reported to reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.

In 2016, a study conducted on 10 patients equally provided evidence that CBD could be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease. This study showed a significant reduction in the NPI or neuropsychiatric inventory score from 44.3 to 12.9. This assertion implies that CBD led to a high decrease in certain symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, including delusion, apathy, aggression, agitation, as well as irritability.

A 2017 study was also carried out by researchers at California’s Salk Institute. This study showed evidence that cannabinoids like CBD could help remove dementia from brain cells. The researchers of this study further asserted that CBD can help improve the health outcomes for people with dementia in three ways; by reducing inflammation, reducing oxygen buildup and by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant.

Despite the shards of scientific evidences, more credible investigations need to be done on this subject since the US Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve any CBD drug for the purpose of treating dementia.


Mayo Clinic
Dementia Care Central

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