According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are around 57.4 million people living with dementia around the globe. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is an incredibly hard disease to live with, and it can be equally hard to watch a loved one’s dementia worsen. What makes it harder, is that over the years we’ve often been told that Alzheimer’s is untreatable. However this may not be the case. It has long been hypothesised that the cannabis plant may have profound potential in the prevention and management of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Dr Sam Watts recently shared some extrememly insightful information on this. In this blog we will outline the Dr Sam's key points is as it’s highly exciting and at Cantourage Clinic, we believe in mutual education and raising awareness surrounding medical cannabis and its effects on a variety of conditions.
A recent study has been published in an attempt to assess the impacts of microdosing cannabis based treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Within the cannabis plant, there are over 100 individual compounds and phytocompounds, that have been identified, isolated, and tested, and they've all been shown to have a significant role to play in supporting healthy brain function as we age. However, within that 110 based compounds, there's one in particular, which is the celebrated THC. This is the compound that has gained the most research, the most interest, and the most focus in terms of its healing impact.
The chemicals that make up THC are clinically proven to increase and improve synaptic transmission. This is incredibly important when it comes to Alzheimer’s, as much of the cognitive decline that comes with the disease is related to an inability of memories and thoughts to flow across the synaptic gaps. If THC helps to allow thoughts and memories to flow better through the synaptic gaps, it’s clear that this will make a significant impact upon slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Upon taking THC, memory recall should become more effortless and cognitive function should improve.
Another great characteristic of THC is that it has been shown to be neuroprotective. In other words, it has been shown to support healthy brain ageing and to slow down progression of neurological diseases. Putting these two variables together provides a profoundly important model for why the cannabis plant and the compounds found within it can play a hugely important role in slowing down and treating Alzheimer's disease.
The study Dr Sam Watts referred to involved a 73 year old Caucasian man with Alzheimer's disease. He had been diagnosed two years previously to the study and his symptoms were progressing very quickly. He was also the perfect candidate for the study as he was not on any prescription medication, nor did he have any other illnesses. As opposed to using the standard protocols for cannabis treatments, they microdosed using micrograms rather than milligrammes. They predicted that microdosing this way would improve the brain's ability to regularly make use of the THC. Across two year period, month by month, there was a clinically significant reduction in psychological symptoms, physical symptoms, as well as cognitive neurological symptoms. As described by the patient himself, “I used to feel forgetful. Not one month after treatment have I felt forgetful. Sometimes before treatment, I did not know where I was. That hasn't happened to me anymore since treatment begun.”
If traditional treatment is not offering relief for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, medical cannabis can be considered as a viable treatment pathway to help relieve the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. A recent article from Cannabis Health shows there are a number of studies that show medical cannabis could be used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as easing aggression, agitation and anxiety.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Would you like to know more about how medical cannabis can help? Head to our home page to get in touch with our expert team today. Our specialists are at hand to provide expert knowledge and guidance on your health pathway options.
There are also a number of incredible charities who support not only those suffering with Alzheimer’s, but those who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. If you are looking for support, head to the Alzheimer’s society website for more information. They are an astounding charity who share our values that treatment and support is not a one size fits all approach. The Alzheimer’s society offer flexibile support services and a multi-faceted approach to help improving lives.
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Dr Sam Watts MCMA, Dip.Ayu, MSc, BSc (Hons), PhD Founder of Mind Body Medical, Dr Sam Watts is the lead Ayurvedic consultant at the thriving Ayurvedic practice in West Sussex. Following years of working in Cancer research, Dr Sam honed his focus on his passion for helping patients with chronic illnesses regain their health.
Dr Sam specialises in preventative medicine and the holistic management of chronic health conditions that conventional medicine alone is often ineffective at managing. Dr Sam provides specialist advice and wisdom based on clinically researched Ayurveda and supported by evidence.