The CB2 cannabinoid agonist AM-1241 prolongs survival in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis when initiated at symptom onset.

“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss, paralysis and death within 2-5 years of diagnosis. Currently, no effective pharmacological agents exist for the treatment of this devastating disease. Neuroinflammation may accelerate the progression of ALS. Cannabinoids produce anti-inflammatory actions via cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), and delay the progression of neuroinflammatory diseases…

 …treatment with non-selective cannabinoid partial agonists prior to, or upon, symptom appearance minimally delays disease onset and prolongs survival through undefined mechanisms…

…Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the main psychoactive constituent in the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and produces its effects by activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are expressed throughout the CNS, while CB2 receptors are expressed predominantly in immune cells and non-neuronal tissues. Therapeutic agents which modulate the cann-abinoid system are effective in treating a wide variety of disorders characterized by inflammation. More specifically, drugs which activate CB2 receptors successfully improve the symptoms of several inflammatory diseases…

More importantly, daily injections of the selective CB2 agonist AM-1241, initiated at symptom onset, increase the survival interval after disease onset by 56%. Therefore, CB2 agonists may slow motor neuron degeneration and preserve motor function, and represent a novel therapeutic modality for treatment of ALS.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819701/

 

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