On January 28, 2013, my mother passed from this world. Mother was ninety-three. She drew her last breath in a dark, dingy room of a Bronx nursing home into which she was forced after all of her life savings had been drained away by the high cost of private home care.
Mother had Alzheimer’s disease. I have experienced nothing more painful than watching the body of a loved-one continue to live long after the mind has gone.
●In 2013, 5.2 million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
●Today, an American develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds.
●By 2025, 7.1 million Americans, age sixty-five and over, will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
●In 2050, it will be every 33 seconds that an American will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to the tune of a projected 13.8 million people.
●Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
I dedicate this communication to all of us who have lost loved-ones ones to Alzheimer’s and to those of us whose futures might well be claimed by this rapidly growing dis-ease in being.
♀ “Cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in (Alzheimer’s) disease.”
See: Ramirez, Belen G., et al., “Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology by Cannabinoids: Neuroprotection Mediated blockade of Microglial Activation,” Neurobiology of Disease 25 (February 23, 2005): 1904-1913.
♀ “Cannabinoids offer a multi-faceted approach for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by providing Neuroprotection and reducing neuroinflammation, whilst simultaneously supporting the brain’s intrinsic repair mechanisms by augmenting neurotrophin [a protein that protects brain cells] expression and enhancing neurogenesis [the growth of new brain cells].”
See: Campbel, V.A., Gowran, A., “Alzheimer’s disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids?” British Journal of Pharmacology 152, (November, 2007); 655-662.
♀ The chronic use of marijuana can actually improve learning and memory by promoting the growth of neurons in the hippocampus.
See: Walton, Dawn, “Marijuana megadose may build better brains, curb depression and anxiety, study suggests,” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, (October 14, 2005).
♀ “Cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic administration.” Antidepressant effects are created. Marijuana actually aids in the manufacture of new brain cells while it protects older brain cells.
See: Jiang, W., et al., “Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects,” Journal of Clinical Investigation 115 (November 2005): 3104-3116.
This is merely a “drop in the bucket” compared to the amount of readily available, ongoing research which supports the use of cannabis in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as well as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis and other modern scourges.
What is it that those who seek to maintain control over our lives and minds fear about this natural, healing gift from Gaia?