Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that slowly but progressively destroys memory and thinking skills. It eventually takes away the ability to even carry out simple tasks. In most people, symptoms don’t appear until your mid-sixties.
The most dominant symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. It’s also the first sign that indicates someone may have the disease. Some people in general with memory problems have what’s called mild cognitive impairment or MCI. It’s when your memory issues are abnormal for your age but have little effect on the quality of your life. Some people eventually go back to normal cognition but those who don’t are likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
There are 7 stages of Alzheimer’s depending on how severe the symptoms are. Memory loss, or cognitive difficulties, look like wandering and getting lost in familiar places, trouble handling money and understanding bills, repeating questions and taking longer than normal for simple tasks.
Causes of Alzheimer’s
Unfortunately, science has not yet figured out fully how one comes to develop Alzheimer’s. In people with early on-set, when the disease becomes apparent before age 50, the cause is thought to be genetic mutation. However, no specific gene has been isolated.
Interesting fact: Most people with Down Syndrome also develop Alzheimer’s.
The rate at which this disease progresses varies widely due to the factors being largely unknown. On average people live between 3 to 11 years after being diagnosed. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death because impaired swallowing allows food and drinks to enter the lungs and cause infections. Secondary is dehydration and malnutrition due to forgetting to eat and drink.
Alzheimer’s can only definitely be diagnosed after death because the indication is deep within the brain tissue.
Medical Marijuana and Alzheimer’s
This disease cannot be cured but medical marijuana eases symptoms to give patients a better quality of life. MM helps ease the anxiety and frustration that comes along with memory loss. Additionally:
- A 2018 study published in Neuroscience found that exposing mice with Alzheimer’s to THC resulted in better memory performance and reduced neuronal loss compared to a control group.
- A 2016 study confirmed that THC promotes the removal of harmful proteins known to contribute to Alzheimer’s in human brain cells.
- A 2014 study found that THC inhibits the buildup of amyloid plaque – the specific kind linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Marijuana strains that help with associated proteins and anxiety include:
- Purple Kush: This indica-dominant strain relieves anxiety and promotes a good night’s sleep along with after-effects that lessen mood swings in the morning.
- Dutch Dragon: This hybrid strain is 50/50, combining the best qualities of both. It relaxes your mind and and keeps you energized at the same time as many patients suffer from chronic fatigue.
- Doctor Doctor: This sativa is high in CBD so the patients won’t have so much of a psychoactive effect. This is important because the nature of the disease often leaves these patients disoriented. It’s also great for ridding anxiety and reducing inflammation in the brain.
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