Cannabis reverses the brain ageing process, new research finds.
The study on elderly mice showed that their brains could be regressed to the state of two-month-olds.
They were given a low-dose treatment with a cannabis-active ingredient (THC).
THC could prove to be a good treatment for dementia eventually, the researchers think.
Professor Andreas Zimmer, who led the research, said:
“With increasing age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces.
When the activity of the cannabinoid system declines, we find rapid ageing in the brain.
It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock.”
The ‘elderly’ mice in the study were actually two-years-old.
Mice normally start to show cognitive deficits at around one-year-old.
However, a four week low-dose course of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) reversed these cognitive deficits.
Professor Zimmer said:
“The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.”
The next stage is to conduct clinical trials in humans.
The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine (Bilkei-Gorzo et al., 2017).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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