Friday, October 06, 2006

Alzheimer's May Be History

Grandma stoned or Grandma senile - which would you rather have?

"Marijuana may stave off Alzheimer's: study
By Andy SullivanThu Oct 5, 4:19 PM ET

Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer's suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be hereditary."

A friend observes, "Unfortunately, it remains the case that the side effects of marijuana are memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills."

Lose some, gain some.

Actually, with Alzheimers the damage is cumulative and fatal. My friend Ted's Alzheimerish mom told him that the little rabbits were eating her all up shortly before she died.

Since marijuana isn't fatal and no one has proved that it's cumulative, I suspect that it will soon be a choice for millions. And it will be their children's and grandchildren's choice for them, as well. Better to have grandma stoned than senile.

Grandma would agree.


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