Monday, March 3, 2014

Marijuana May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

By David Downs
Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 10:24 AM

The anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana might help slow the lifelong process of acquiring Alzheimer’s Disease — to the point where tokers die of old age before they get dementia.

That’s the controversial findings of a professor of neuroscience, immunology, and medical genetics at Ohio State University, Gary Wenk, who says the federal drug war is blocking deeper research into cannabis' impacts on brain disease.

Gary Wenk.
  • Gary Wenk.
"Essentially, what we found was that we know that as people get older, their [brain growth] drops to zero,” Wenk told the Seattle Post Intelligencer. “And that’s part of the reason old people have a problem with their memory and depression. What we found was that not only did the single puff a day reverse the memory impairment but also restarted neurogenesis.”

Pot use younger in life can also be beneficial, according to Wenk.

“ .. if you do anything [anti-inflammatory], such as smoke a bunch of marijuana in your 20s and 30s, you may wipe out all of the inflammation in your brain and then things start over again. And you simply die of old age before inflammation becomes an issue for you,” Wenk told Leaf Science.

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, costing America about $203 billion in 2013.

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