Over half a million Canadians live with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with approximately 250,000 being diagnosed every year. This disease is aggressively running through our country’s health care costs, research dollars, and most importantly, the quality of life of every sufferer and their caregivers. Current medications in place can help delay the disease progression but they come with some detrimental side effects that have been known to be life-threatening. Recent studies show that the use of medicinal cannabinoids may be the more effective alternative to slowing the disease progression and giving dementia sufferers and their loved ones a life worth living.
Research has shown that cannabinoids have been able to provide a neuroprotective layer around the brain’s millions of neurons that transmit messages across our bodies, and that are the hardest hit by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cannabinoids can protect neurons from beta-amyloids, a chemical (also known as plaque) that is produced in the Alzheimer’s-diseased brain that breaks down neuropathways, and it can reduce the rate of tau phosphorylation, a process that occurs in the Alzheimer’s disease brain that kills neurons and inhibits proper neural communication. THC has even been found to inhibit the production of beta-amyloids, further delaying the progression of the disease.
At this time, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada has not made an official statement on the use of medicinal cannabis for treatment of symptoms and delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. However, the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary has put out a statement that clearly calls for more large-scale research into the use of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Do you want to see more research for this cause? Do you want to see medicinal cannabis as a respected and well-documented treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? Write to your local Alzheimer’s Society chapter and let them know how you feel. You can also write to your local MP and MPP to further support the cause and let them know that you want to see more research into this promising use of medicinal cannabis. To support patients currently using medicinal cannabis as part of their treatment regimen, pop over to our Send a Letter form and let your government representatives know that patient access to medicine needs to be improved across the country!