Friday, November 21, 2008

Help For Aging Brains

Scientists are finding surpising value in the daily use of small amounts of marijuana.

Ohio State University scientists are finding that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation there and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells.

Their research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s remains unknown, chronic inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute to memory impairment.

Any new drug’s properties would resemble those of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, but would not share its high-producing effects. THC joins nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as agents that, in moderation, have shown some protection against inflammation in the brain that might translate to better memory late in life.

“It’s not that everything immoral is good for the brain. It’s just that there are some substances that millions of people for thousands of years have used in billions of doses, and we’re noticing there’s a little signal above all the noise,” said Gary Wenk, professor of psychology at Ohio State and principal investigator on the research.
The scientists are now looking for a chemical that fills the appropriate receptors in the brain that do not cause a high. The difficulty is that if you find a chemical that fills a receptor you get all the effects of filling that receptor. Not just the effect you want. I think their search will be futile.

In any case to prevent memory loss - if you got 'em smoke 'em. In moderation.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have at it Stoner -- I'm sure you've been doing your part for the cause....