CBD as a Neuroprotectant

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Damage of the neurons that send signals to brains leads to various neurodegenerative disorders. Neural damage of temporary and even permanent nature can result from genetic disorders, ischemia, and traumatic blows.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

A heterogeneous group of diseases that result from progressive degeneration of the central or peripheral nervous system are generally termed neurodegenerative diseases. Networks of interconnected neurons that act as the basic building blocks of the nervous system do not have the ability to reproduce on their own. When the neuron is damaged, the body fails to replace the damaged neurons.

Examples of neurodegenerative diseases are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Prion disease

The degeneration of nerve cells causes problems with the mental functioning of the patient as in dementia and problems with movement as found in ataxias. In this session, we are focusing on the working of CBD to treat two common neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

CBD For Parkinson’s Disease

The average onset of Parkinson’s disease is 60. The disease is characterized by movement issues including difficulty in balancing, tremors, stiff muscles, and lack of facial expression. Damage caused to the brain cells that release dopamine is the major cause of PD. Parkinson’s disease can develop into Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD) which affects the patient’s cognitive ability.

Research has shown that CBD has the ability to reduce tremors and anxiety in people with PD. In a clinical study involving two groups with PD, one group was given 300 mg of CBD before they gave a public speech while the other group was given a placebo. The group that received CBD reported lesser symptoms than the group that received a placebo.

The ability of CBD to influence the brain’s ability to produce dopamine is studied widely. The basal ganglia region of the brain that connects the brainstem and cerebral cortex drives major body functions like learning, movement, emotions, etc. When CBD acts as an inverse agonist of the CPR6 receptors found in the basal ganglia region of the brain, dopamine production increases.

CBD for Alzheimer’s Disease

Oxidative stress in the brain cells leading to inflammation is the major cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Excess release of oxygen in the brain cells impairs important rain functions like memory. The antioxidant properties of CBD contribute to reducing oxidative stress and the problems associate with it.

The cannabis compound CBD is added to various formulations to produce a range of CBD product options.

Related: Could CBD be useful for managing mental distress? Click here to find out more.

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