Pot could fend off Alzheimer's

(From The Province: October 9, 2006)


U.S. scientists reported that THC, the active component in marijuana, may protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease.

Investigators from Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California found THC appears to block an enzyme that causes plaques to form.

Today, Alzheimer's is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly. Am estimated 290,000 Canadians over 65 years of age have the disease - a number expected to double over the next two decades. Women account for more than two-thirds of cases. There is no cure currently.

"I'm not suggesting you smoke pot," said immunologist Kim Janda, but his team's work may provide a lead for new and more effective medications, he said.