Dementia in the UK
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, around 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia here in the UK. Approximately 52% of us know somebody who has been diagnosed with dementia. These figures are expected to increase in the future. With such a growing problem, it’s vitally important to explore possible ways to slow the progression of symptoms, or preferably avoid the onset of the disease completely.
CBD for Anxiety and Memory Loss in Dementia
Despite the need for new treatments for dementia, there haven’t been many clinical studies on the use of Cannabidiol in dementia. There are a few trials taking place at the moment, and I hope we’ll know the results before too long. But do we really have to wait for these trials to be published? As a holistic therapist, I’m familiar with the idea that “like cures like”. This means that, in the correct amounts, a substance can be used to treat the same symptoms that it causes. For example, people who smoke cannabis sometimes find that it causes problems with their memory. And homeopaths use dilute solutions of Cannabis indica to tackle memory loss and confusion. So it comes as no surprise to me that Cannabidiol could help with memory problems in dementia, as well as some of the other symptoms such as anxiety and aggression.
The Alzheimer’s Society accept that CBD might help with some dementia symptoms such as anxiety and agitation. (There are quite a few clinical studies that show how CBD relieves anxiety.) But it also seems that cannabis ingredients such as CBD can help to keep nerves healthy and improve the connection between them. Research indicates that CBD can reduce inflammation around nerves and also protect the myelin sheath that covers them. As nerve damage is an important symptom of dementia, it follows that CBD could have a very positive effect.
CBD and Inflammation in Fronto-temporal Dementia
Scientists have found that inflammation can play an important part in the development of fronto-temporal dementia. A study of 31 people with fronto-temporal dementia showed that areas of the brain affected by dementia showed noticeable inflammation. The results suggest that there is a direct connection between inflammation and the development of the damaged proteins that are a major problem in this type of dementia. As CBD can reduce inflammation, it is very likely that it can be be useful in the treatment of fronto-temporal dementia.