Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Ayahuasca stimulates brain cells and could treat Alzheimer’s

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    Posts
    176
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    By Olivia Lerche

    SCIENTISTS have discovered that a hallucinogenic substance from the Amazon stimulates the birth of new brains cells and could lead to treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The tea called Ayahuasca, is also used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies in Peru, South America.

    The Sant Pau Hospital Barcelona, which worked in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation and Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, has released the findings from a study investigating the potential of ayahuasca to promote neurogenesis - which is the development of new brain cells. The investigators believe that these findings will open up a new avenue of research that may help develop drugs to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and addiction.

    Dr Jordi Riba, lead investigator, presented preliminary data, at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research in Amsterdam at the weekend. Results showed that two compounds - harmine and tetrahydro harmine - which are found in the hallucinogenic tea, potently stimulated the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation said: “The images from the Beckley/Sant Pau collaboration showing the birth of new neurons are very interesting and suggest that ayahuasca could lead to a new approach in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, among others.”

    Experts have believed for years that the brain doesn’t make neurons during adulthood. In the 1990s, research changed this finding, showing that new neurons are generated throughout adult life in two regions of the human brain: the area around the ventricles and in the hippocampus. The hippocampus, thought to be the center of emotion and autonomic nervous system, plays a key role in memory. Its function declines with age and in neurological disorders.

    Under normal conditions, the rate of the birth of new neurons is very low, and it cannot keep up with the rate of neural death that occurs in diseases such such as Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, neural stem cells were isolated from the hippocampus of adult mice. The stem cells were grown in the lab and substances that are present in ayahuasca were added to the cultures and compared with saline a placebo control.

    Scientists have described the results as ‘impressive’, with ayahuasca substances stimulating the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Dr Riba has been studying ayahuasca for twenty years.
    Last edited by Sherman Peabody; 09-24-2017 at 01:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    Posts
    176
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Neurogenesis a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

    By Gary Chandler

    Scientists have discovered that a hallucinogenic substance from the Amazon stimulates the birth of new brains cells and could lead to treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

    The tea called ayahuasca, is also used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies in Peru. The Saint Pau Hospital Barcelona, which worked in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation and Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, has released the findings from a study investigating the potential of ayahuasca to promote neurogenesis – which is the development of new brain cells. The investigators believe that these findings will open up a new avenue of research that may help develop drugs to treat diseases, such as like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and addiction.

    Dr. Jordi Riba, lead investigator, presented preliminary data, at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research in Amsterdam at the weekend. Results showed two compounds – harmine and tetrahydro harmine – which are found in the hallucinogenic tea, potently stimulated the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation said: “The images from the Beckley/Saint Pau collaboration showing the birth of new neurons are very interesting and suggest that ayahuasca could lead to a new approach in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”

    Experts have believed for years that the brain doesn’t make neurons during adulthood. In the 1990s, research changed this finding, showing that new neurons are generated throughout adult life in two regions of the human brain: the area around the ventricles and in the hippocampus.

    The hippocampus, which is thought to be the center of emotion and the autonomic nervous system, plays a key role in memory. Its function declines with age and in neurological disorders. Under normal conditions, the rate of the birth of new neurons is very low, and it cannot keep up with the rate of neural death that occurs in diseases such such as Alzheimer’s disease.

    In the study, neural stem cells were isolated from the hippocampus of adult mice. The stem cells were grown in the lab and substances that are present in ayahuasca were added to the cultures and compared with a saline placebo. Scientists have described the results as impressive, with ayahuasca substances stimulating the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Dr. Riba has studied ayahuasca for twenty years. Ayahuasca is a potent hallucinogenic brew used by shamans in the Amazon for centuries for medical and spiritual purposes. Obtained from a mixture of jungle plants, its popularity around the world has hugely increased in recent years, as an aid to spiritual exploration, psychotherapy and healing.

    -----

    Low dose ibogaine therapy

    Parkinson’s disease, Motor Neuron Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease are chronic disorders with no known cure. Most neurodegenerative diseases require management with prescription medications that can have considerable side effects, which may cause a very poor quality of life for terminal sufferers. In turn, Ibogaine may be very benefical to those with degenerative neurological diseases. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid derived from the roots of the African rain forest shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Ibogaine is part of the Apocynaceae family and traditionally used by the Bwiti, indigenous peoples of Western Africa; in low doses to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst. Use of higher doses of ibogaine is part of spiritual initiation ceremonies, and in modern times, used for addiction interruption. A patent application was filed in 2005 for treating and preventing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and mild cognitive impairment with ibogaine.

    Ibogaine increases levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the brain (He & Ron 2006), and this appears to have neuroprotective properties that promote the survival of both dopaminergic and motor neurons (Bermingham et al. 2004; He and Ron 2006). GDNF can also cause sprouting of dopaminergic fibers and clinical improvement in experimental animal and human studies in which the test subjects had Parkinson’s Disease, with the resultant clinical improvement in symptoms (Love et al. 2005). GDNF has been shown to have potent neurotrophic factor in both rodent and primate models of Parkinson’s disease (Gill et al. 2003). Direct brain infusion of GDNF into the brains of five Parkinson sufferers resulted in a 39% improvement in the off-medication motor sub-score of the Unite Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and a 61% improvement in the activities of daily living sub score (Gill et al. 2003). Positron emission tomography (PET) scans of dopamine uptake showed a significant 28% increase in putamen dopamine storage after 18 months, indicating a direct effect of GDNF on dopamine function.

    Furthermore, after one year, no serious clinical side effects were observed (Gill et al. 2003). The use of Iboga alkaloid extract or Ibogaine would provide a longer term and much less invasive method of GDNF administration than direct brain infusion. Thus, further research on Ibogaine and GDNF is certainly warranted. Ibogaine therapy may offer a non-invasive and low-toxicity method of treatment for sufferers of this disease.

    -Tom Grodski

    -----

    Ayahuasca and DYRK1A

    New research shows the drug stimulates the generation of human neural cells that block the effects of DYRK1A, a gene that is overactivated in Alzheimer's and Down syndrome patients. One of the main substances present in the Ayahuasca beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.

    In order to elucidate these effects, researchers from the D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ICB-UFRJ) exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline. After four days, harmine led to a 70 percent increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells. Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine.

    The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease.

    -Mia De Graaf

    -----

    Substance in ayahuasca stimulates generation of human neural cells

    Ayahuasca is a beverage that has been used for centuries by Native South-Americans. Studies suggest that it exhibits anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in humans. One of the main substances present in the beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.

    “It has been shown in rodents that antidepressant medication acts by inducing neurogenesis. So we decided to test if harmine, an alkaloid with the highest concentration in the psychotropic plant decoction ayahuasca, would trigger neurogenesis in human neural cells”, said Vanja Dakic, PhD student and one of the authors in the study.

    In order to elucidate these effects, researchers from the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ICB-UFRJ) exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline. After four days, harmine led to a 70% increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells.

    Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine. The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease.

    “Our results demonstrate that harmine is able to generate new human neural cells, similarly to the effects of classical antidepressant drugs, which frequently are followed by diverse side effects. The observation that harmine inhibits DYRK1A in neural cells allows us to speculate about future studies to test its potential therapeutic role over cognitive deficits observed in Down syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases”, suggests Stevens Rehen, researcher from IDOR.

    -D'Or Institute

    -----

    Psilocybin stimulates healing in damaged areas of the brain

    Scientists discover psilocybin can actually change the way the brain functions, and even cause the brain to grow new cells. This helps explain some of the anti-depressant effects and lasting personality changes that can occur with the use of psilocybin. This new research could have substantial benefits to the future of Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention.

    It appears that psilocybin alters the brain by changing the way different parts of the brain communicate with each other. This is quite exciting news as previous research pointed to the fact that psilocybin “turned off” or decreased activity in parts of the brain. It seems that, in fact, the brain is just re-wired for a period of time instead. The normal organizational structure of the brain is actually temporarily changed by allowing parts of the brain that don’t normally communicate to interact with each other.

    Paul Expert, a co-author of a recent study stated that, “Psilocybin dramatically transformed the participants’ brain organization. With the drug, normally unconnected brain regions showed brain activity that was synchronized tightly in time.” Even more interesting is the fact that this “hyperconnected” communication appears to be very stable and organized and not erratic in nature.

    In research conducted by Dr. Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos at the University of Florida, mice were able to regrow brain cells in damaged areas of the brain and learn to overcome fear. It appears that psilocybin binds to receptors that stimulate growth and healing.

    -Amie Moses

    -----

    Cannabinoides reduce inflammation, restore cognitive function

    Alzheimer’s appears because of inflammation in the brain, and the brain’s inability to remove amyloid beta plaque.

    Gary Wenk, Ph.D, professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University, on marijuana and its link to inflammation:

    “I have been trying to find a drug that will reduce brain inflammation and restore cognitive function in rats for over 25 years; cannabinoides are the first and only class of drugs that have ever been effective.”

    You know what plaque on your teeth is because of your dentist. He or she tells you to clean your teeth so they won’t be left covered in plaque.

    You can watch the dentist scrape plaque off, but what about brain plaque?

    Brain plaque is the common term for acetylcholinesterase-associated amyloid β-peptide (Aβ). We can’t see this get wiped away, and even if we could, we wouldn’t. This is because our brains clear themselves out while we’re asleep.

    Marijuana helps protect against brain inflammation, which in turn aids in the brain’s waste removal process. Unlike other Alzheimer’s medications, marijuana has been proven to work, does not demean or insult patients, costs considerably less to produce, and eases the brain, mind, and soul.

    -Michelle Toole

    -----

    Ayahuasca for treatment of ALS and other motor neuron diseases

    Natural substances extracted from the ayahuasca plants have been found to possess unique restorative and strongly antioxidative properties on specific nerve cells in the brain and central nervous system – controlling neurotransmission, muscle/motor activity, memory and coordination. This gives probable cause to the theory that ayahuasca could be an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Promising results as of date has also been obtained from studying the substance psilocybin, very closely related to the substances found in ayahuasca, naturally occuring in certain species of medicinal mushrooms consumed by the indigenous people where ayahuasca is also used.

    According to Dr. Juan Ramos, head of the neurological disease department at the South Florida university, USA, initial studies show that these substances stimulate the development of new cells in the areas of the brain controlling the above mentioned functions. If this could prove to be an eventual cure through complete restoration of damaged or destroyed cells remains to be seen, but initial results indicate this could potentially be the case. There is also a growing interest in exploring the cell regenerative properties of these plants within the spinal chord injury support communities. Should people with this background eventually try and find the results of this treatment useful, medical science would be bound to take note. Cancer researchers have also shown interest in B. Caapi, as its different alkaloids has shown to be effective against the growth of cancer cells.

    Summary

    Ayahuasca could effectively be used in treatment of ALS and other motor neuron diseases based on the fact that studies suggest uniquely antioxidative effects that seem to protect brain/nerve cells, targeting motor neurons through a unique biochemical transport system, and that it and other molecularly similar substances, also naturally occurring, stimulate neurogenesis – the development of new brain/nerve cells, and the communicative capacity between these. In studies it has been found to reduce symptoms in Parkinson’s patients – all neurodegenerative diseases share common ground, thus making it likely that something that improves a given neurological condition could also be beneficial to other conditions nearly related. Also based on credible personal accounts from people having used ayahuasca for symptom relief from their multiple sclerosis (once again – the common ground of neurodegenerative diseases), documented in books about ayahuasca, and from descriptions of early stage minor improvement by those with various types of ALS now participating in the treatment project, already having used this medicine for a period of time. Studies also indicate ability to normalize metabolism in mitochondria, crucial to motor neuron survival, and to regulate and decrease levels of excitotoxicity in the central nervous system.

    -Daniel Gustafsson

    -----

    Cannabis oil shown to mitigate symptoms of Alzheimer’s-induced dementia

    The administration of liquid cannabis extracts containing THC is associated with the mitigation of various symptoms of Alzheimer’s-related agitation and dementia, according to observational trial data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Israeli investigators assessed the use of cannabis oil as an adjunct pharmacotherapy treatment in ten Alzheimer’s disease patients over a period of several weeks. Researchers reported that drug administration was associated with a significant reduction in patients’ symptom severity scores. Specifically, cannabis oil ingestion corresponded with decreased levels of aggression, irritability, apathy, and delusions.

    Investigators concluded, “Adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s disease patients pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option.”

    The administration of Dronabinol (oral synthetic THC in pill form) has previously been reported to reduce Alzheimer’s-induced agitation and improve weight gain, while preclinical studies have theorized that cannabinoids may be neuroprotective against the onset of the disease.
    Last edited by Sherman Peabody; 09-25-2017 at 01:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    Posts
    176
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    LSD may increase cerebral circulation

    MRI is being used to investigate the psychopharmacology underlying the effects of LSD and the changes in blood flow around the brain. Of particular interest is the hypothesis that the changes in consciousness associated with psychedelics are closely linked to an increased supply of blood to the brain, enabling billions more brain cells to function simultaneously.

    ‘We are beginning to see through our studies that Alzheimer’s disease is accompanied by diminished blood supply in certain parts of the brain, as is depression,’ she says. ‘If LSD creates greater profusion [blood flow], it could be very useful at a sub-hallucinogenic dose to improve cerebral circulation.’

    -Karen Harries-Rees

    -----

    "Psychedelic room" helps dementia patients

    For many people living with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, this is a daily reality. Now, psychologists are reaching back to the 1960s and updating research on sensory deprivation with the hope of offering relief to people suffering from this type of dementia.

    What looks like a modern art exhibit is in fact a room that enhances mental stimulation for people with dementia. Colored lights, a giant butterfly, and a tube filled with bubbles are just some of the objects that fill the space.

    The treatment, which originated in the Netherlands and is called Snoezelen (pronounced snooze-lin), was originally used to help children suffering from autism. Previous research has shown that Snoezelen behavior therapy "reduces socially disturbed behavior, produces relaxation responses, improves mood enhances interpersonal interaction, facilitates verbal expression, improves memory recall, and enhances attention and concentration in dementia patients," said lead researcher Dr. Jason Staal of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

    "Everything is done to maximize the wonderful joy of the experience. Remember these are people living in monochromatic, sensory deprived environments," Staal told Reuters Health, referring to bleak hospital rooms and the like. "The aim is to provide dementia patients with an experience that they can understand."

    Dementia patients often lose the ability to read or understand words and the ability to complete tasks like preparing a meal or finding their shoes and putting them on. Music and color preference, on the other hand, tend to remain intact longer, explained Staal. For instance someone who likes the color blue will most likely have the same color preference into old age, even when dementia comes into play.

    Patients are exposed to the room anywhere from three to five times per week depending on their degree of dementia. Two therapists accompany them, one who assists the patient in the room and another who other acts as an observer. At first the patient is closely monitored to see which stimuli have the most positive effect. The therapist is then able to focus and heighten the patient's experience in subsequent visits into the room.

    "The current state of affairs in the day-to-day treatment for people with dementia is pretty miserable," said Staal.

    -Reuters

    -----

    Ayahuasca and neurogenisis

    New research shows the drug stimulates the generation of human neural cells that block the effects of DYRK1A, a gene that is overactivated in Alzheimer's and Down syndrome patients.

    One of the main substances present in the Ayahuasca beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.

    In order to elucidate these effects, researchers from the D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ICB-UFRJ) exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline.

    After four days, harmine led to a 70 percent increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells.

    Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine.

    The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease.

    -Mia De Graaf

    -----

    Psilocybin stimulates growth of new brain cells

    By Aaron Kase

    In a study conducted by the University of South Florida and published in 2013 in the Experimental Brain Research journal, researchers measured the effects of mushrooms on mice that had been conditioned to fear certain stimuli.

    The results were striking: Not only did psilocybin help them get over their fear, it also promoted cell growth and regeneration in their brains.

    During the experiment, mice were exposed to an auditory tone while receiving an electric shock, training them to fear the noise even when the shock was not administered.

    Mice that received low doses of psilocybin, however, were quickly able to shed their aversion to the tone, while mice that did not take the substance took longer to return to normal. “They stopped freezing; they lost their fear,” study co-author Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos said.

    What’s more, the psychedelic mice showed growth in new brain cells, perhaps erasing memories of the fear response. Researchers think that the psilocybin is binding to brain receptors that stimulate growth and healing, acting on the hippocampus, a small part of the brain that is essential to learning and forming memories. Since PTSD is thought to result from a similar response in which patients cannot separate a stimulus from a traumatic event, psilocybin could perhaps help them heal their brains just like it did for the mice.

    “Memory, learning, and the ability to relearn that a once threatening stimuli is no longer a danger absolutely depends on the ability of the brain to alter its connections,” study leader Dr. Briony Catlow of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development.

    Psychedelics work, in part, by overriding the “default mode network” in the brain, which is thought to be responsible for wandering minds, self-criticism and an inability to focus on the outside world. Instead, the substances help people focus on living in the moment, similar to many Eastern meditation practices. That can also help with PTSD as well as other mental disorders like depression.

    “People with depression have overactive default mode networks and so ruminate on themselves, on their inadequacies, on their badness, that they are worthless, that they have failed — to an extent that is sometimes delusional,” David Nutt, of the Imperial College London’s Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, said to Natural News. “Psilocybin appears to block that activity and stops this obsessive rumination.”

    The therapeutic value seems clear. “Psilocybin facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions,” the study concludes. However, despite its demonstrated success and unlimited potential, psilocybin is currently banned.

    -----

    Blood test may be able to predict Alzheimer's

    New research published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia suggests that a simple blood test could be able to predict dementia. That would allow researchers to get people who will develop Alzheimer’s into clinical trials for treatment at an earlier stage of the condition.

    One of the challenges of treating Alzheimer’s is that people don’t start showing symptoms until a decade or so after the disease began developing in their brains.

    For the study, researchers looked for differences in the blood of 452 healthy people, 220 with mild cognitive impairment and 476 with Alzheimer’s disease. From this group, they were able to determine, with 87 percent accuracy, which patients with mild cognitive impairment would develop Alzheimer’s disease within the next year.

    The scientists caution that it probably will take several years before such a blood test would be available to doctors. They also point out that people who learn that they’re very likely to develop Alzheimer’s could suffer undue stress and anxiety.

    -BBC

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    Posts
    176
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Low dose ibogaine therapy

    By Dr. Tom Grodski

    Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer’s are chronic disorders with no known cure. Most neurodegenerative diseases require management with prescription medications that can have considerable side effects, which may cause a very poor quality of life for terminal sufferers. In turn, Ibogaine may be very beneficial to those with degenerative neurological diseases.

    Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid derived from the roots of the African rain forest shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Ibogaine is part of the Apocynaceae family and traditionally used by the Bwiti, indigenous peoples of Western Africa; in low doses to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst.

    Ibogaine increases levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the brain (He & Ron 2006), and this appears to have neuroprotective properties that promote the survival of both dopaminergic and motor neurons (Bermingham et al.2004; He and Ron 2006). GDNF can also cause sprouting of dopaminergic fibers and clinical improvement in experimental animal and human studies in which the test subjects had Parkinson’s Disease, with the resultant clinical improvement in symptoms (Love et al. 2005). GDNF has been shown to have potent neurotrophic factor in both rodent and primate models of Parkinson’s disease (Gill et al. 2003).

    Direct brain infusion of GDNF into the brains of five Parkinson sufferers resulted in a 39% improvement in the off-medication motor sub-score of the Unite Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and a 61% improvement in the activities of daily living sub score (Gill et al. 2003). Positron emission tomography (PET) scans of dopamine uptake showed a significant 28% increase in putamen dopamine storage after 18 months, indicating a direct effect of GDNF on dopamine function. Further, after one year, no serious clinical side effects were observed (Gill et al. 2003).

    The use of Iboga alkaloid extract or Ibogaine would provide a longer term and much less invasive method of GDNF administration than direct brain infusion. Thus, further research on Ibogaine and GDNF is certainly warranted. Ibogaine therapy may offer a non-invasive and low-toxicity method of treatment for sufferers of these disorders.

    http://drgrodski.com/low-dose-ibogaine-therapy/

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    Posts
    176
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    THC found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain

    The finding supports the results of previous studies that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoides, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative disease.

    “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoides might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoides affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says one of the team, David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

    Schubert and his colleagues tested the effects of THC on human neurons grown in the lab that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

    If you’re not familiar with this special little compound, it’s not only responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects – including the high – thanks to its natural pain-relieving properties, it’s also been touted as an effective treatment for the symptoms of everything from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stroke.

    In fact, THC appears to be such an amazing medical agent, researchers are working on breeding genetically modified yeast that can produce it way more efficiently than it would be to make synthetic versions.

    The compound works by passing from the lungs to the bloodstream, where it attaches to two types of receptors, cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1 and 2, which are found on cell surfaces all over the body.

    In the brain, these receptors are most concentrated in neurons associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination and time perception, and usually bind with a class of lipid molecules called endocannabinoids that are produced by the body during physical activity to promote cell-to-cell signaling in the brain.

    But THC can also bind to them in much the same way, and when they do, they start messing with your brain’s ability to communicate with itself. The can be a good and a bad thing, because while you might forget something important or suddenly be incapable of swinging a baseball bat, you’ll probably feel amazing, and want to eat all the snacks:

    Over the years, research has suggested that by binding to these receptors, THC could be having another effect on aging brains, because it appears to helps the body clear out the toxic accumulations – or ‘plaques’ – of amyloid beta.

    No one’s entirely sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s thought to result from a build-up of two types of lesions: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

    Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules – a sticky type of protein that easily clumps together – and neurofibrillary tangles are caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass in the neurons.

    It’s not clear why these lesions begin to appear in the brain, but studies have linked inflammation in the brain tissue to the proliferation of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. So if we can find something that eases brain inflammation while at the same time encourages the body to clear out these lesions, we could be on the way to finding the first effective treatment for Alzheimer’s ever.

    Back in 2006, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute found that THC inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that produces them, and now Schubert and his team have demonstrated that it can also eliminate a dangerous inflammatory response from the nerve cells, ensuring their survival.

    “Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says one of the team, Antonio Currais.

    “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”

    It’s exciting stuff, but it’s so far only been demonstrated in neurons in the lab, so the next step will be for Schubert and his team to observe the link between THC and reduced inflammation and plaque build-up in a clinical trial. And they’ve reportedly already found a drug candidate called J147 that appears to have the same effects as THC, so this might be the way they can test the effects of THC without the government getting in the way.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/npjamd201612

    -----

    Ayahuasca stimulates the birth of new neurons

    Studies carried out by the Beckley/Sant Pau Research Program have revealed that ayahuasca use can result in an increase in several key traits associated with mindfulness, such as ‘decentering’, which refers to the ability to observe one’s thoughts and feelings in an objective and non-judgmental way. This, in turn, has been shown to help sufferers of depression, anxiety, grief and PTSD to overcome their conditions.

    Brain-imaging studies have revealed how ayahuasca reduces the control of a brain network called the default mode network, and provide compelling evidence that this may be behind the brew’s therapeutic power. Intriguingly, certain compounds in ayahuasca stimulate the birth of new neurons from stem cells in a petri dish. This opens the door to the possibility of using ayahuasca to regenerate damaged brain cells, potentially pointing the way to a new pathway to treating Alzheimer’s and dementia.

    -Beckley

    http://beckleyfoundation.org/ayahuascadmt/

    -----

    Substance in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells

    Ayahuasca is a beverage that has been used for centuries by Native South-Americans. Studies suggest that it exhibits anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in humans. One of the main substances present in the beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.

    “It has been shown in rodents that antidepressant medication acts by inducing neurogenesis. So we decided to test if harmine, an alkaloid with the highest concentration in the psychotropic plant decoction ayahuasca, would trigger neurogenesis in human neural cells”, said Vanja Dakic, PhD student and one of the authors in the study.

    In order to elucidate these effects, researchers from the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ICB-UFRJ) exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline. After four days, harmine led to a 70% increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells.

    Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine. The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease.

    “Our results demonstrate that harmine is able to generate new human neural cells, similarly to the effects of classical antidepressant drugs, which frequently are followed by diverse side effects. Moreover, the observation that harmine inhibits DYRK1A in neural cells allows us to speculate about future studies to test its potential therapeutic role over cognitive deficits observed in Down syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases”, suggests Stevens Rehen, researcher from IDOR.

    -D'Or Institute

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1207124115.htm

    -----

    Hallucinogenic tea from the Amazon stimulates brain cells and could treat Alzheimer’s

    By Olivia Lerche

    SCIENTISTS have discovered that a hallucinogenic substance from the Amazon stimulates the birth of new brains cells and could lead to treatment for neurodegenerative diseases
    such as Alzheimer’s disease. The tea called Ayahuasca, is also used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies in Peru, South America.

    The Sant Pau Hospital Barcelona, which worked in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation and Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, has released the findings from a study investigating the potential of ayahuasca to promote neurogenesis - which is the development of new brain cells. The investigators believe that these findings will open up a new avenue of research that may help develop drugs to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and addiction.

    Dr Jordi Riba, lead investigator, presented preliminary data, at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research in Amsterdam at the weekend. Results showed that two compounds - harmine and tetrahydro harmine - which are found in the hallucinogenic tea, potently stimulated the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation said: “The images from the Beckley/Sant Pau collaboration showing the birth of new neurons are very interesting and suggest that ayahuasca could lead to a new approach in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, among others.”

    Experts have believed for years that the brain doesn’t make neurons during adulthood. In the 1990s, research changed this finding, showing that new neurons are generated throughout adult life in two regions of the human brain: the area around the ventricles and in the hippocampus. The hippocampus, thought to be the center of emotion and autonomic nervous system, plays a key role in memory. Its function declines with age and in neurological disorders.

    Under normal conditions, the rate of the birth of new neurons is very low, and it cannot keep up with the rate of neural death that occurs in diseases such such as Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, neural stem cells were isolated from the hippocampus of adult mice. The stem cells were grown in the lab and substances that are present in ayahuasca were added to the cultures and compared with saline a placebo control.

    Scientists have described the results as ‘impressive’, with ayahuasca substances stimulating the transformation of stem cells into new neurons.

    Dr Riba has been studying ayahuasca for twenty years.

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/...nic-tea-Amazon

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2017, 08:31 AM
  2. Alzheimer-type brain pathology may be transmitted by grafts of dura mater
    By flatfish in forum Creutzfeldt Jakobs Disease (CJD)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-26-2016, 08:07 AM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-05-2015, 10:39 AM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-23-2012, 09:44 PM
  5. Brain 'pacemaker' used to treat depression
    By Ted-T in forum Epilepsy
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-05-2012, 06:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


BTC Inc's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

The material on this site is for information & support purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice provided by a licensed health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything that you find online.