There is growing hype around cannabis, and more studies are being conducted on the regular to better understand the possible benefits of cannabis on different health problems. The latest study sheds light on the potential use of cannabis for dementia treatment.
Researcher’s from King’s College London are carrying out a clinical trial on cannabis-based treatment for dementia.
The study will test if Sativex – a cannabis-based mouth spray which is approved to treat MS – can benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sativex contains 1:1 dosage of THC and CBD. The new study will recruit volunteers with Alzheimer’s disease over the age of 55 living in care homes and who have symptoms of agitation and aggravation.
Lead researcher Dr. Dag Aarsland explained, “Current treatments for behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of dementia are very limited, and we desperately need to develop alternatives. Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-psychotic medications, and while these drugs can have important benefits, these need to be weighed against the risk of very serious side effects.”
“One of the key questions the STAND trial will answer is whether it is practical to give someone with dementia a drug through a mouth spray when they may be exhibiting severe symptoms of agitation and aggression. We will also get some indication of whether Sativex is effective at reducing symptoms, although larger studies will be needed to get firm evidence of this,” continued Dr. Aarsland.
There have been no new reported treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in the last 15 years, so this cannabis-based product could be a potential breakthrough.
Many treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s focus on slowing down disease progression, so there is a need for treatments that can ease the symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Previous research from King’s College London found that CBD cannabidiol could reduce abnormal brain activity in psychosis and was deemed safe and well tolerated.
It may be a while until we know the full effects of cannabis on Alzheimer’s disease, but it could lend way to a possible future breakthrough treatment.