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The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimer's disease

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Introduction: Dementia currently affects over 35 million people worldwide. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease (AD). Currently, treatments for AD do not stop or reverse the progression of the disease and they are accompanied by side effects.

    Areas covered: The main features of AD pathology, treatment options currently available, the endocannabinoid system and its functionality in general and its role in AD pathology in detail will be outlined. A particular focus will be on the therapeutic potential of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol.

    Expert opinion: Based on the complex pathology of AD, a preventative, multimodal drug approach targeting a combination of pathological AD symptoms appears ideal. Importantly, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties and have immunosuppressive effects. Thus, the cannabinoid system should be a prime target for AD therapy. The cannabinoid receptor 2 appears to be a promising candidate but its role in AD has to be investigated cautiously. Furthermore, the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is of particular interest as it lacks the psychoactive and cognition-impairing properties of other cannabinoids. In conclusion, future research should focus on the evaluation of the effects of manipulations to the endocannabinoid system in established animal models for AD, combined with early-phase studies in humans.

Authors


  •   Karl, Tim (external author)
  •   Cheng, David (external author)
  •   Garner, Brett
  •   Dr Jonathon Arnold, Jonathon (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Karl, T., Cheng, D., Garner, B. & Arnold, J. C. (2012). The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimer's disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 16 (4), 407-420.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84859614049

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/426

Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 407

End Page


  • 420

Volume


  • 16

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • Introduction: Dementia currently affects over 35 million people worldwide. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease (AD). Currently, treatments for AD do not stop or reverse the progression of the disease and they are accompanied by side effects.

    Areas covered: The main features of AD pathology, treatment options currently available, the endocannabinoid system and its functionality in general and its role in AD pathology in detail will be outlined. A particular focus will be on the therapeutic potential of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol.

    Expert opinion: Based on the complex pathology of AD, a preventative, multimodal drug approach targeting a combination of pathological AD symptoms appears ideal. Importantly, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties and have immunosuppressive effects. Thus, the cannabinoid system should be a prime target for AD therapy. The cannabinoid receptor 2 appears to be a promising candidate but its role in AD has to be investigated cautiously. Furthermore, the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is of particular interest as it lacks the psychoactive and cognition-impairing properties of other cannabinoids. In conclusion, future research should focus on the evaluation of the effects of manipulations to the endocannabinoid system in established animal models for AD, combined with early-phase studies in humans.

Authors


  •   Karl, Tim (external author)
  •   Cheng, David (external author)
  •   Garner, Brett
  •   Dr Jonathon Arnold, Jonathon (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Karl, T., Cheng, D., Garner, B. & Arnold, J. C. (2012). The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimer's disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 16 (4), 407-420.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84859614049

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/426

Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 407

End Page


  • 420

Volume


  • 16

Issue


  • 4