Thursday, December 19, 2013

Researchers Solve Longtime Mystery Of How Marijuana Causes Memory Loss

This needs to be understood yet before we dash off to experiment.  The giant monkey in the Marijuana woodshed is that it is presently debilitating to the juvenile human brain just when it is attempting to learn as much as possible and possibly the worst possible time.

It may be possible to engineer a juvenile safe concoction or even better a concoction that actually improves those same effects.  Sure would be an improvement over coffee.

If marijuana migrates to the e cigarette protocol then adding additional active ingredients could work quite well.  All this leads to plausibly healthy use of these chemical tools.

I do not wish to condone any of this but legalizing all this is inevitable in order to minimize abuse.  Once we win that battle and I include cigarettes here, then we can address best practice and best choices linked to known outcomes.  Until now we have lousy reporting and insecure dosage levels.

As well this stuff is simply not going away.  Imagine a measured smoke that produced a mind blowing sexual orgasm every time without physical intervention.  Just how do you propose to stop a product like that coming to market?  That is the extreme but so what?  Folks want this trip and we best make it safe or we lose human productivity for sure.

Researchers Solve Longtime Mystery Of How Marijuana Causes Memory Loss

DINA SPECTOR NOV. 22, 2013, 2:56 PM 7,135 18

REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A new study suggests that over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen could prevent two debilitating side effects of marijuana use — learning problems and memory loss — that currently limit the drug's medical value.

In a study published in the journal Cell, researchers say they have pinpointed the molecular pathways responsible for marijuana-induced memory problems.

The high you get from marijuana comes from a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. The chemical works by interacting with receptors on brain cells called cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in many different places in the brain. Their ubiquity is good and bad.

THC can bind with receptors that are responsible for regulating relaxation, relieving pain, or suppressing nausea, which is why the drug has been used to treat the symptoms of chemotherapy, epilepsy, anxiety, and countless other ailments.

There are also cannabinoid receptors located in the region of the brain involved in learning and memory, called the hippocampus. When THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus it alters the way information is processed and how memories are formed.

But in a study of mice, researchers were surprised to find that THC increased the levels of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the hippocampus. 

The COX-2 increase in the brain cells seems to turn down memory-making abilities by decreasing the cell's ability to make connections with other brain cells — and these connections are what underlay our memories.

By stopping this activation of COX-2 the researchers were able to restore the brain cells ability to connect with other cells. More connections mean more memories. 

Since over-the-counter pain relievers work by deactivating COX-2 (thus lowering pain signals sent to the body), scientists think they could be used to prevent the unwanted side effects of marijuana.

There are currently no FDA-approved effective medications for prevention and treatment of marijuana-induced symptoms. This discovery has the potential to broaden the use of medical marijuana for a wider range of conditions.

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