Alzheimer’s affects one in eight people over 65, and there have been few successes at treating or preventing it. These studies suggest excitation of the brain’s cannabinoid receptors may slow brain degradation and dementia.
Location: Various Locations, Spain
This study proved that the specific CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist JWH-133 induced cognitive improvement in double AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice, a genetic model of Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, the improvement was more pronounced when administered at the pre-symptomatic rather than the early symptomatic stage, suggesting that once cognition has been lost, it cannot be regained.
The cognitive improvement was associated with decreased microglial reactivity and reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, and IFNγ. In addition, JWH-133 reduced the expression of active p38 and SAPK/JNK, increased the expression of inactive GSK3β, and lowered tau hyperphosphorylation at Thr181 in the vicinity of amyloid-β plaques.
This study lends support to the idea that stimulation of CB2 receptors ameliorates several altered parameters in Alzheimer’s disease such as impaired memory and learning, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress damage and oxidative stress responses, selected tau kinases, and tau hyperphosphorylation around plaques.