Marijuana May Slow Progression Of Alzheimer’s

Posted October 13, 2006 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine


The active compound in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can help treat the symptoms and slow the progress of Alzheimer’s, finds a new study reported in the October 2 issue of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, a publication of the American Chemical Society. Investigators from the Scripps Research Institute found that THC appears to block an enzyme that causes the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The study findings indicate THC is also effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. The researchers note that THC may provide a “drug lead”—a model for developing new and more effective prescription drugs for treating AD. THC may provide an improvement in treatment for both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers concluded. Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.

Diagnosis of AD in traditional Chinese medicine indicates there may be many possible causative factors for the disease, categorized as lao nian xing chi dai, or senile dementia. This disease is characterized by an insufficiency of Qi of the Zang-Fu organs in addition to obstruction by stagnations of phlegm and blood stasis.

Acupuncture can be effective in promoting normal mental activity in people who have Alzheimer’s through removal of obstructions in meridians and collaterals, and regulation of Yin and Yang of the Zang-Fu organs. Acupuncture points effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s are selected from the Yin channels, including main points: Neiguan (P 6), to nourish the heart and promote circulation of Qi and blood, renzhong (Du 26) to stimulates the brain and sanyinjiao (Sp 6) for kidney nourishment. Local points effective in AD treatment are Jiquan (H 1), chize (Lu 5), weizhong (UB 40), and hegu (LI 4), which have the benefit of opening up channels and collaterals and improving circulation of Qi and blood.

"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne"

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