King’s College London researchers just announced that they would perform a clinical trial to see if cannabis can indeed treat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well. More specifically, the study, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, would investigate if Sativex, a cannabis-based spray approved to relieve symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients, can also have beneficial effects in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sativex, licensed in Canada by Bayer, is owned and developed by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK. Sativex is, as mentioned above, a cannabis-based product which contains a 1:1 dosage of THC and CBD (cannabidiol). The upcoming clinical trial called The Sativex for the Treatment of AgitatioN in Dementia (STAND) is already recruiting Alzheimer’s disease patients aged between 55 and 90 and present agitation or aggressive behavior.
According to the researchers, while Alzheimer’s disease is commonly linked to memory loss, this illness is also causing agitation and aggressiveness in patients, so it would be a great achievement if cannabis-based products prove useful against those symptoms.
Scientists Are Investigating If Cannabis Can Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
“Current treatments for behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of dementia are very limited, and we desperately need to develop alternatives. Doctors sometimes prescribe antipsychotic medications, and while these drugs can have important benefits, these need to be weighed against the risk of very serious side effects,” explained Dr. Dag Aarsland, lead researcher and Chair of Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London.
“One of the key questions the STAND trial will answer is whether it is practical to give someone with dementia a drug through a mouth spray when they may be exhibiting severe symptoms of agitation and aggression. We will also get some indication of whether Sativex is effective at reducing symptoms, although larger studies will be needed to get firm evidence of this,” he added.
“The STAND trial opens the door to a treatment that may help to alleviate an extremely challenging set of symptoms, and Alzheimer’s Research UK is extremely grateful to our supporters for making this important work possible,” also said Dr. David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.