New study on elderly mice suggests cannabis could be a good treatment for dementia.
Cannabis reverses the brain ageing process, new research finds.
The study on elderly mice showed that their brains could be regressed to the state of two-month-olds.
They were given a low-dose treatment with a cannabis-active ingredient (THC).
THC could prove to be a good treatment for dementia eventually, the researchers think.
Professor Andreas Zimmer, who led the research, said:
“With increasing age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces.
When the activity of the cannabinoid system declines, we find rapid ageing in the brain.
It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock.”
The ‘elderly’ mice in the study were actually two-years-old.
Mice normally start to show cognitive deficits at around one-year-old.
However, a four week low-dose course of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) reversed these cognitive deficits.
Professor Zimmer said:
“The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.”
The next stage is to conduct clinical trials in humans.
The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine (Bilkei-Gorzo et al., 2017).
Shiny brain image from Shutterstock