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Cannabinoids Shield the Brain from HIV, Harvard Researchers Reveal

If cannabis is renowned for its healing properties against cancer, now cannabinoids are proven to offer a solid protection from the symptoms of the Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, inflammation and HIV

Article by EWAO

In the case of HIV, the brain damage occurring as a result of a HIV infection has a 40% rate, and is traced back to a toxic protein called Gp120, which originates from the virus.

Ensued brain injuries lead to HIV-1 associated cognitive impairment, also known as HAND. According to a team of researchers from the Harvard University, the HIV protein can also lead to dementia. The infection affects the brain at an early stage of the viral development, and most of the cases it causes a mild cognitive impairment.

For medication to be effective, it should be capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, thus preventing a massive cerebral disorder. Fortunately, despite no FDA approved drugs being able to achieve this, the cannabinoids can easily break this barrier, efficiently protecting brain’s functionality against the Gp120 protein.

The AM2421 cannabinoid acts only at the level of CB2 receptors of the brain, and it has been confirmed that was indeed capable of protecting the progenitor cells and the neural stem cells against the harmful effects of the test doses of Gp120 protein. These progenitor and neural stem cells are vital to the neurogenesis process in the development of the brain’s neurons. The final report stated the fact that an AM2421 cannabinoid has very positive effects on the survival of the stem cells.

A series of tests were conducted on animal models revealed the same results. After a thorough analysis of the neurogenesis in vivo in the mice brain, half of the mices being treated with the AM2421 cannabinoid, the researchers reported a very positive result concerning the neurogenesis’ parameters.

The study was funded by the Department of Experimental Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

As a plus, the American Journal of Pathology published an article concluding that the activation of the CB2 receptors can diminish the brain tissue damage by preventing immune cells from crossing from blood stream into the brain.

Also, important results have been obtained in the leukocytes decrease key steps in monocyte-BBB [blood brain barrier] engagement, finally suppressing inflammatory leukocyte response and prophylactic for neuroinflammation.

Even professor Shilpa Buch, PhD, from Nebraska Medical Center Department of Pharmcology and Experimental Neuroscience confirmed the magnitude of the positive anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 activation in monocytes.

The monocytes are found to play a major part in a large variety of inflammatory

Despite the main focus was on CB2-specific cannabinoi AM2421, the CB1 receptors were also effective as the CB2, but some scientists have their concerns due to a highly potential problem in clinical settings.

A number of CB2-specific drugs have been treating other conditions and this means there is a strong possibility to be approved for HIV-related impairments. Besides, any doubts concerning the expected adverse effect in the form of addiction to the medicine, are totally discarded thankfuly to the fact only CB1 agonists may cause addiction plus some other major side effects.

These latest studies will definitely have a wider application than HIV treatment. Moreover further research will be performed to reach the final stage of human trials.

To sustain the latest research, all the previous studies confirmed the potency and safety of the cannabis as a gift from nature and some individuals have refused and still refuse to accept the truth, discrediting it or worse, criminalizing and putting a stigma on those who do not share the same opinion.

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