Cannabinoids in Neurodegenerative Disorders and Stroke/Brain Trauma: From Preclinical Models to Clinical Applications.

“Cannabinoids form a singular family of plant-derived compounds (phytocannabinoids), endogenous signaling lipids (endocannabinoids), and synthetic derivatives with multiple biological effects and therapeutic applications in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

One of these properties is the regulation of neuronal homeostasis and survival, which is the result of the combination of a myriad of effects addressed to preserve, rescue, repair, and/or replace neurons, and also glial cells against multiple insults that may potentially damage these cells.

These effects are facilitated by the location of specific targets for the action of these compounds (e.g., cannabinoid type 1 and 2 receptors, endocannabinoid inactivating enzymes, and nonendocannabinoid targets) in key cellular substrates (e.g., neurons, glial cells, and neural progenitor cells).

This potential is promising for acute and chronic neurodegenerative pathological conditions. In this review, we will collect all experimental evidence, mainly obtained at the preclinical level, supporting that different cannabinoid compounds may be neuroprotective in adult and neonatal ischemia, brain trauma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

This increasing experimental evidence demands a prompt clinical validation of cannabinoid-based medicines for the treatment of all these disorders, which, at present, lack efficacious treatments for delaying/arresting disease progression…”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26260390

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The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

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“The Cannabis sativa plant has been exploited for medicinal, agricultural and spiritual purposes in diverse cultures over thousands of years.

Cannabis has been used recreationally for its psychotropic properties, while effects such as stimulation of appetite, analgesia and anti-emesis have lead to the medicinal application of cannabis.

Indeed, reports of medicinal efficacy of cannabis can been traced back as far as 2700 BC, and even at that time reports also suggested a neuroprotective effect of the cultivar.

…alterations in the endocannabinoid system have been extensively investigated in a range of neurodegenerative disorders.

In this review we examine the evidence implicating the endocannabinoid system in the cause, symptomatology or treatment of neurodegenerative disease. We examine data from human patients and compare and contrast this with evidence from animal models of these diseases. On the basis of this evidence we discuss the likely efficacy of endocannabinoid-based therapies in each disease context.

There has been anecdotal and preliminary scientific evidence of cannabis affording symptomatic relief in diverse neurodegenerative disorders. These include multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

This evidence implied that hypofunction or dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptomatology of these diseases.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931550/

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Minireview: From the Bench, Toward the Clinic: Therapeutic Opportunities for Cannabinoid Receptor Modulation.

The effects of cannabinoids have been known for centuries and over the past several decades two G-protein coupled receptors, CB1 and CB2, have been identified that are responsible for their activity.

Endogenous lipid-derived cannabinergic agents have been found, biosynthetic and catabolic machinery characterized, and synthetic agents have been designed to modulate these receptors.

Selective agents including agonists, antagonists, inverse agonists and novel allosteric modulators targeting either CB1 or CB2 have been developed to inhibit or augment their basal tone.

As a result, the role these receptors play in human physiology and their potential therapeutic applications in disease states are being elucidated.

The CB1 receptor while ubiquitous is densely expressed in the brain and CB2 is largely found on cells of immune origin.

This minireview highlights the role of CB1 in excitotoxic assaults in the brain and its potential to limit addiction liability.

In addition, it will examine the relationship between receptor activity and stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic β-cells, insulin resistance and feeding behavior leading toward obesity.

The role of CB2 in the neuropathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in the central manifestations of chronic HIV infection potentially converges at inflammatory cell activation thereby providing an opportunity for intervention.

Lastly, CB2 modulation is discussed in the context of an experimental model of post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Achieving exquisite receptor selectivity and elucidating the mechanisms underlying receptor inhibition and activation will be essential for the development of the next generation of cannabinergic-based therapeutic agents.”

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Changes in the endocannabinoid signaling system in CNS structures of TDP-43 transgenic mice: relevance for a neuroprotective therapy in TDP-43-related disorders.

“Because of their neuroprotective properties, cannabinoids are being investigated in neurodegenerative disorders, mainly in preclinical studies. These disorders also include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease produced by the damage of the upper and lower motor neurons leading to muscle denervation, atrophy and paralysis.

The studies with cannabinoids in ALS have been conducted exclusively in a transgenic mouse model bearing mutated forms of human superoxide dismutase-1, the first gene that was identified in relation with ALS.

The present study represents the first attempt to investigate the endocannabinoid system in an alternative model, the transgenic mouse model of TAR-DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), a protein related to ALS and also to frontotemporal dementia…

In conclusion, our data support the idea that the endocannabinoid signaling system, in particular the CB2 receptor, may serve for the development of a neuroprotective therapy in TDP-43-related disorders. We are presently engaged in pharmacological experiments to investigate this possibility.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25819934

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-lou-gehrigs-disease/

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Cannabinoid Signaling and Neuroinflammatory Diseases: A Melting pot for the Regulation of Brain Immune Responses.

“The concept of the central nervous system (CNS) as an immune-privileged site, essentially due to the presence of the blood brain barrier, appears to be overly simplistic. Indeed, within healthy CNS immune activities are permitted and are required for neuronal function and host defense, not only due to the presence of the resident innate immune cells of the brain, but also by virtue of a complex cross-talk of the CNS with peripheral immune cells.

Nonetheless, long-standing and persisting neuroinflammatory responses are most often detrimental and characterize several neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

A growing body of evidence suggests that Cannabis sativa-derived phytocannabinoids, as well as synthetic cannabinoids, are endowed with significant immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, both in peripheral tissues and in the CNS, through the activation of cannabinoid receptors.

In this review, the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoid signaling on the most relevant brain immune cells will be discussed. In addition, the impact of cannabinoid regulation on the overall integration of the manifold brain immune responses will also be highlighted, along with the implication of these compounds as potential agents for the management of neuroinflammatory disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25601726

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The endocannabinoid system: a putative role in neurodegenerative diseases.

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“Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases

Scientific evidence shows that cannabis can provide symptomatic relief in several neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings imply that a hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of these diseases. Moreover, given the abundance of CB1 receptors in areas associated with movement and executive thought, researchers’ interest has often focused on endocannabinoid levels in patients with motor degenerative disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070159/

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Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines.

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“Cannabis was extensively used as a medicine throughout the developed world in the nineteenth century but went into decline early in the twentieth century ahead of its emergence as the most widely used illicit recreational drug later that century. Recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology alongside the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have re-ignited interest in cannabis-based medicines.

The ECS has emerged as an important physiological system and plausible target for new medicines. Its receptors and endogenous ligands play a vital modulatory role in diverse functions including immune response, food intake, cognition, emotion, perception, behavioural reinforcement, motor co-ordination, body temperature, wake/sleep cycle, bone formation and resorption, and various aspects of hormonal control. In disease it may act as part of the physiological response or as a component of the underlying pathology.

In the forefront of clinical research are the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and their contrasting pharmacology will be briefly outlined. The therapeutic potential and possible risks of drugs that inhibit the ECS will also be considered. This paper will then go on to review clinical research exploring the potential of cannabinoid medicines in the following indications: symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24006213

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1529/abstract

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[Marihuana and cannobinoids as medicaments].

“Biological activity of cannabinoids is caused by binding to two cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Psychoactive is not only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but also: cannabidiol, cannabigerol or cannabichromen.

Formerly, the usefulness of hemp was assessed in the relation to temporary appeasement of the symptoms of some ailments as nausea or vomiting.

Present discoveries indicates that cannabis-based drugs has shown ability to alleviate of autoimmunological disorders such as: Multiple sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or inflammatory bowel disease.

Another studies indicates that cannabinoids play role in treatment of neurological disorders like Alzheimer disease or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or even can reduce spreading of tumor cells.

Cannabinoids stand out high safety profile considering acute toxicity, it is low possibility of deadly overdosing and side-effects are comprise in range of tolerated side-effects of other medications.

In some countries marinol and nabilone are used as anti vomiting and nausea drug. First cannabis-based drug containg naturally occurring cannabinoids is Sativex. Sativex is delivered in an mucosal spray for patients suffering from spasticity in MS, pain relevant with cancer and neuropathic pain of various origin.

Cannabis side-effects varies and depend from several factors like administrated dose, rout of administration and present state of mind. After sudden break from long-lasting use, withdrawal symptoms can appear, although they entirely disappear after a week or two.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23421098

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Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 attenuates leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions and blood-brain barrier dysfunction under inflammatory conditions.

“Previous studies have shown that modulation of the receptor-mediated cannabinoid system during neuroinflammation can produce potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects

…Together, these results suggest that pharmacological CB2R ligands offer a new strategy for BBB protection during neuroinflammation.”

Full text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325902/

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The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.

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“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387

http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v3/n9/full/nrd1495.html

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