Friday, October 06, 2006

What's the Point?


A new study hitting the news today says that marijuana may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease. I'm sure some of my former friends from high school who never gave up the herb are ecstatic. But then again, they were usually high all the time any way.

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.

I'm wondering what would be the point of smoking herb to delay Alzheimer's? Short-term memory loss, disorientation, impaired decision-making, diminished language and movement skills, staring blankly into space -- how is the cure any better than the symptoms of the disease?

But then, I guess it's more fun if you choose to be that way.


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