Dementia is a general term that refers to the decline in mental ability in serious ways to a point that it interferes with the patient’s daily activities. Dementia is in fact, an umbrella term for various symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning and cognitive ability. Different types of dementia with varying underlying causes exist.
In this article, we are exploring the effectiveness of CBD in treating various types of dementias.
How Does CBD Help Treat Dementia?
Studies have suggested that CBD can be used in the treatment of various dementia-related conditions including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, fronto-temporal dementia, and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
In their 2017 study, researchers at California’s Salk Institute found that cannabinoids like CBD could contribute to removing dementia from brain cells and increasing connections between them. The results were validated by other laboratories. Although the US Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet approved CBD as a medication for treating dementia, it has approved the use of CBD in treating epilepsy.
CBD proves effective in bringing positive effects in dementia treatment by reducing inflammation, limiting oxygen buildup and acting as a neuroprotectant and brain stimulant. CBD can help reduce the anxiety and stress of dementia patients and control the loss of memory and decline in brain functions.
Dementias That Can Be Treated Using CBD
Here are the different types of dementia that can be treated using CBD.
A lot of research is being conducted to find out how CBD impacts Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Recent studies suggest that CBD can reduce the impact of brain cell decline, oxygen buildup, and inflammation that are common in Alzheimer’s patients.
The inflammatory response that is generated when the immune cells in the brain are unable to clear the disorienting blockage is the most reported cause of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Inflammation worsens the condition and increases its negative impact on the patient’s memory and cognitive skills. CBD has quite a name as an anti-inflammatory medication that proves useful in handling Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Oxygen buildup in the brain is commonly seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Oxygen release happens in response to the stress induced by inflammation in the brain. Greater levels of inflammation lead to more severe negative impacts. Memory loss and other forms of brain deterioration lead to more oxygen being released in the brain cells. The antioxidant properties of CBD make it an effective compound to handle the oxygen stress and brain functions that are negatively affected by it.
Moreover, brain cells keep declining rapidly in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The efficacy of CBD in stimulating brain tissue seems promising in Alzheimer’s treatment. Several clinical trials have found that CBD is capable of preventing or reversing the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.
Vascular dementia is a general term used to describe problems related to planning, judgment, reasoning, memory and other thought processes, all originating from the brain damage induced by impairment in blood flow to the brain. Arteries in the brain being blocked after a stroke could lead to vascular dementia but it isn’t always the case. The likelihood of a stroke affecting your reasoning and thinking skills depends much on its location and the intensity of the stroke. Vascular dementia could also be caused by conditions that damage your blood vessels and reduce circulation, thereby making it difficult for your brain to get vital oxygen and nutrients.
A study conducted by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) found that activation of CB2 receptors in the brain can help improve the flow of blood to the brain. This can improve brain cell activity and reduce brain cell damage usually reported in vascular dementia patients.
Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is associated with excessive deposits of a protein, alpha-synuclein in the brain. The protein deposits named Lewy bodies affect the brain chemicals in turn leading to problems in sleeping, mood, behavior and movement. Unlike many behavioral management drugs, using CBD will not block acetylcholine, which is the main chemical that is affected by Lewy bodies. Research has suggested that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and has the ability to reduce motor symptoms ( for example tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity) and maintain sleep rhythms.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic condition that mostly affects middle-aged and older people. The disease is associated with decreased dopamine production and the most reported symptoms include tremor, loss of pace and precision in movements and muscular rigidity. The antioxidant, brain-protective and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it an effective medication that can handle the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Earlier diagnosis of dementias helps prevent further decline of memory and brain functions and CBD can help in keeping a check on the condition. CBD is available in different forms, thereby giving you the freedom to choose a form that seems convenient to you.