Oral cannabis extract may help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms

Credit: Unsplash+.

In a new study, a group of scientists wanted to find out if cannabis extract could help improve symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

AD is a type of dementia that affects millions of people worldwide each year, and its symptoms can include agitation, weight loss, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbances.

To study this, the scientists conducted a study with 30 patients aged 65-90 years who were diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe AD.

The patients were required to use oil-diluted cannabis extract, Bedrocan® (22% THC, 0.5% CBD, Olive Oil 50 ml), twice a day for 12 weeks.

The efficacy of cannabinoid therapy was evaluated using three self-administered questionnaires completed by the parents of the enrolled patients: NPI-Q, CMAI, and MMSE.

The study was conducted in Modena, Italy. After 12 weeks of therapy, the key findings were impressive.

The NPI-Q questionnaire showed a reduction in agitation, apathy, irritability, sleep disturbances, and eating disturbances, which consequently improved caregiver distress.

The questionnaire showed lower levels of physically and verbally aggressive behaviors in all patients. The MMSE questionnaire confirmed a significant decrease in cognitive impairment in 45% of the patients.

The researchers concluded that their anecdotical, spontaneous, and observational study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of oil-diluted cannabis extract in patients with AD.

However, the study had some limitations, such as the small patient cohort, the absence of a control group, and the use of self-administered questionnaires, which are practical but not objective instruments to assess the neurologic functions of AD patients.

In conclusion, this study suggests that cannabis extract may have potential benefits for Alzheimer’s disease patients with severe symptoms such as agitation, weight loss, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbance.

However, more research is needed to confirm these findings, and it is important to note that cannabis extract may not be suitable for everyone and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

What to eat to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

While there is no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, research has shown that a healthy diet may help to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Here are some dietary recommendations that may help to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s:

Mediterranean diet: The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil. It is also low in red meat and processed foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Consuming foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, may help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Antioxidants: Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables, may help to protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E: Consuming foods that are high in vitamin E, such as nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables, may help to protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

B vitamins: Consuming foods that are high in B vitamins, such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, may help to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Low-saturated fat: Consuming a diet that is low in saturated fat, found in red meat and full-fat dairy products, may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

In addition to following a healthy diet, it’s important to engage in regular physical activity, avoid smoking, manage stress, and get enough sleep to maintain good brain health.

The research was published in Clinical Therapeutics and was conducted by Palmieri et al.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.