Possible therapeutic applications of cannabis in the neuropsychopharmacology field.

European Neuropsychopharmacology“Cannabis use induces a plethora of actions on the CNS via its active chemical ingredients, the so-called phytocannabinoids.

These compounds have been frequently associated with the intoxicating properties of cannabis preparations. However, not all phytocannabinoids are psychotropic, and, irrespective of whether they are psychotropic or not, they have also shown numerous therapeutic properties.

These properties are mostly associated with their ability to modulate the activity of an intercellular communication system, the so-called endocannabinoid system, which is highly active in the CNS and has been found altered in many neurological disorders.

Specifically, this includes the neuropsychopharmacology field, with diseases such as schizophrenia and related psychoses, anxiety-related disorders, mood disorders, addiction, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa and other feeding-related disorders, dementia, epileptic syndromes, as well as autism, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopment-related disorders.

Here, we gather, from a pharmacological and biochemical standpoint, the recent advances in the study of the therapeutic relevance of the endocannabinoid system in the CNS, with especial emphasis on the neuropsychopharmacology field. We also illustrate the efforts that are currently being made to investigate at the clinical level the potential therapeutic benefits derived from elevating or inhibiting endocannabinoid signaling in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32057592

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X20300365?via%3Dihub

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Crosstalk between the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor and the endocannabinoid system: A relevance for Alzheimer’s disease?

Cellular Signalling“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which accounts for 60-70% of the 50 million worldwide cases of dementia and is characterised by cognitive impairments, many of which have long been associated with dysfunction of the cholinergic system.

Although the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) is considered a promising drug target for AD, ligands targeting this receptor have so far been unsuccessful in clinical trials.

As modulatory receptors to cholinergic transmission, the endocannabinoid system may be a promising drug target to allow fine tuning of the cholinergic system. Furthermore, disease-related changes have been found in the endocannabinoid system during AD progression and indeed targeting the endocannabinoid system at specific disease stages alleviates cognitive symptoms in numerous mouse models of AD.

Here we review the role of the endocannabinoid system in AD, and its crosstalk with mAChRs as a potential drug target for cholinergic dysfunction.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31978506

“Targeting the endocannabinoid system could fine tune the cholinergic system”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S089865682030022X?via%3Dihub

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A Review on Studies of Marijuana for Alzheimer’s Disease – Focusing on CBD, THC.

book “This study was to discuss the research trend of dementia treatment using cannabis for the purpose of providing the basis of cannabis use for medical purposes in the future.

RESULTS:

These results implied that the CBD components of cannabis might be useful to treat and prevent AD because CBD components could suppress the main causal factors of AD.

Moreover, it was suggested that using CBD and THC together could be more useful than using CBD or THC alone.

CONCLUSION:

We hope that there will be a solid foundation to use cannabis for medical use by continuously evaluating the possibility of using cannabis for clinical purposes as a dementia treatment substance and cannabis can be used as a positive tool.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31970019

“The ideal treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) should be able to modulate the disease through multiple mechanisms rather than targeting a single dysregulated pathway.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25147120                                                             

THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024327

 CBD treatment would be in line with preventative, multimodal drug strategies targeting a combination of pathological symptoms, which might be ideal for AD #therapy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27471947
“Combination of THC and CBD exhibits a better therapeutic profile than each cannabis component alone and support the consideration of a cannabis-based medicine as potential therapy against AD.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25125475
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Cannabinoids for the Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

 Image result for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry“In 2016, the global number of individuals living with dementia was 43.8 million, representing a 117% increase from 1990-mainly due to increases in aging and population growth.
Up to 90% of individuals with dementia experience neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS). However, the limitations of current treatments for NPS have driven  the search for safer pharmacotherapies-including cannabinoids.

AIM:

To assess the efficacy and acceptability of cannabinoids for the treatment of NPS in individuals with dementia.

FINDINGS:

Cannabinoids led to significant improvements across NPS instruments, including the Cohen Mansfield Agitation Inventory (SMD = -0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.45 to -0.16), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (SMD = -0.61; CI, -1.07 to -0.15), and nocturnal actigraphy (SMD = -1.05; CI, -1.56 to -0.54h). Cannabinoids were well-tolerated, with an overall trial completion rate of 93% (193/205) and no serious treatment-related adverse events. Treatment efficacy was associated with baseline dementia severity and dose, but not dementia subtype, age, or sex. The overall study quality was rated as low.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is preliminary evidence for the efficacy and tolerability of cannabinoids as treatments for NPS. Population-based studies are needed to characterize their real-world effectiveness and acceptability.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31835954

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0706743719892717?journalCode=cpab

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The Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist WIN55,212-2 Ameliorates Hippocampal Neuronal Damage After Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion Possibly Through Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and ASK1-p38 Signaling.

 “Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is a major contributor to cognitive decline and degenerative processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and aging. However, the delicate mechanism of CCH-induced neuronal damage, and therefore proper treatment, remains unclear.

WIN55,212-2 (WIN) is a nonselective cannabinoid receptor agonist that has been shown to have effects on hippocampal neuron survival. In this study, we investigated the potential roles of WIN, as well as its underlying mechanism in a rat CCH model of bilateral common carotid artery occlusion.

These findings indicated that WIN may be a potential therapeutic agent for ischemic neuronal damage, involving a mechanism associated with the suppression of oxidative stress and ASK1-p38 signaling.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31808139

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12640-019-00141-8

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Kinetics of acetylcholinesterase inhibition by hemp seed protein-derived peptides.

Journal of Food Biochemistry banner“The aim of this work was to enhance the acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-inhibitory activity of a pepsin-produced hemp seed protein hydrolysates (HPH) through reverse-phase HPLC separation followed by identification of peptide sequences present in the most active fraction. The HPH was separated into eight fractions (F1-F8) with F7 exhibiting significantly (p < 0.05) the strongest (97.5%) in vitro inhibition of electric eel AChE (eeAChE) activity in comparison to 53.8% for HPH. The HPH consisted mostly of low molecular weight peptides of < 11 amino acid residues and most contained at least one hydrophobic amino acid. Kinetics of enzyme inhibition revealed a mixed-type inhibition of eeAChE activity by HPH whereas F7 acted through an uncompetitive mode; in contrast inhibition of human AChE by HPH and F7 was uncompetitive. The stronger inhibitory potency of the F7 peptides fraction against both enzymes was confirmed through reduced maximal velocity, catalytic efficiency, and inhibition constant values when compared to the HPH.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The use of natural products for the prevention or treatment of human diseases continues to be an area of intense research activities. Food protein-derived peptides obtained through enzymatic hydrolysis of hemp seed proteins were shown in vitro to be strong inhibitors of activities of both the eel and human forms of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE is an important therapeutic target because excessive activity of this enzyme is a causative factor of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. This work showed that peptides in the most active fraction are small in sizes, which may favor their absorption into blood circulation and possible permeation of the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, the hemp seed peptides are potential agents that can be used to formulate functional foods and nutraceuticals against neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31353736

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfbc.12897

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Agitation, Oxidative Stress, and Cytokines in Alzheimer Disease: Biomarker Analyses From a Clinical Trial With Nabilone for Agitation.

 Image result for journal of geriatric psychiatry and neurology

“The endocannabinoid system has been a target of interest for agitation in Alzheimer disease (AD) because of potential behavioral effects and its potential impact on mechanisms implicated in AD such as oxidative stress (OS) and neuroinflammation.

We explored whether serum markers of OS and neuroinflammation were associated with response to the cannabinoid nabilone in agitated patients with AD (N = 38).

These findings suggest that OS and neuroinflammation may be associated with agitation severity, while nabilone may have anti-inflammatory effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31547752

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0891988719874118?journalCode=jgpb

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Safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia: a systematic review.

SAGE Journals“Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia impact profoundly on the quality of life of people living with dementia and their care givers. Evidence for the effectiveness and safety of current therapeutic options is varied.

Cannabinoids have been proposed as an alternative therapy, mainly due to their activity on CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. However, little is known regarding the safety and effectiveness of cannabinoid therapy in people with dementia.

A literature review was undertaken to identify, describe and critically appraise studies investigating cannabinoid use in treating NPS in dementia.

RESULTS:

Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. There was considerable variability across the studies with respect to study design (50% randomized controlled trials), intervention [dronabinol (33%), nabilone (25%) or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; 42%)] and outcome measures.

Dronabinol (three studies) and THC (one study) were associated with significant improvements in a range of neuropsychiatric scores.

The most common adverse drug event (ADE) reported was sedation. A high risk of bias was found in eight studies. The highest-quality trial found no significant improvement in symptoms or difference in ADE rate between treatment arms. Included studies used low doses of oral cannabinoids and this may have contributed to the lack of demonstrated efficacy.

CONCLUSION:

While the efficacy of cannabinoids was not proven in a robust randomized control trial, observational studies showed promising results, especially for patients whose symptoms were refractory. In addition, the safety profile is favourable as most of the ADEs reported were mild. Future trials may want to consider dose escalation and formulations with improved bioavailability.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31205674

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2042098619846993

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Cannabidiol attenuates aggressive behavior induced by social isolation in mice: Involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors.

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

“Long-term single housing increases aggressive behavior in mice, a condition named isolation-induced aggression or territorial aggression, which can be attenuated by anxiolytic, antidepressant, and antipsychotic drugs.

Preclinical and clinical findings indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa, has anxiolytic, antidepressant, and antipsychotic properties. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of CBD on aggressive behaviors.

Here, we investigated whether CBD (5, 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg; i.p.) could attenuate social isolation-induced aggressive behavior in the resident-intruder test.

Taken together, our findings suggest that CBD may be therapeutically useful to treat aggressive behaviors that are usually associated with psychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31054943

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618308340?via%3Dihub

cannabidiol reduces aggressiveness, study concludes”  https://globalhealthnewswire.com/2019/07/31/cannabidiol-reduces-aggressiveness-study-concludes/

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Prescription of a THC/CBD-Based Medication to Patients with Dementia: A Pilot Study in Geneva

 

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“Dementia is increasing worldwide. No effective medication is currently available for the treatment of the underlying disease and accompanying behavioral symptoms. Cannabinoids might have a beneficial effect, but clinical studies with (low-dose) synthetic THC have not been conclusive.

Objective: To test the acceptability, practical aspects, and clinical outcomes of the introduction of a THC/CBD-based oral medication in severely demented patients in a specialized nursing home in Geneva.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study.

Results: Ten female demented patients with severe behavior problems received oral medication with on average 7.6 mg THC/13.2 mg CBD daily after 2 weeks, 8.8 mg THC/17.6 mg CBD after 1 month, and 9.0 mg THC/18.0 mg CBD after 2 months. The THC/CBD-based oil was preferred. Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory score, and a behavior problem visual analog scale decreased by 40% after 2 months, rigidity score by 50%. Half of the patients decreased or stopped other psychotropic medications. The staff appreciated the decrease in rigidity, making daily care and transfers easier, the improved direct contact with the patients, the improvement in behavior, and the decrease in constipation with less opioids. There was no withholding of the medication for reasons of side effects, and the effects persisted after 2 months.

Conclusions: An oral cannabis extract with THC/CBD, in higher dosages than in other studies, was well tolerated and greatly improved behavior problems, rigidity, and daily care in severely demented patients.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/498924

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