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Cannabidiol: a promising drug for neurodegenerative disorders?

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases represent, nowadays, one of the main causes of death in the industrialized country. They are characterized by a loss of neurons in particular regions of the nervous system. It is believed that this nerve cell loss underlies the subsequent decline in cognitive and motor function that patients experience in these diseases. A range of mutant genes and environmental toxins have been implicated in the cause of neurodegenerative disorders but the mechanism remains largely unknown. At present, inflammation, a common denominator among the diverse list of neurodegenerative diseases, has been implicated as a critical mechanism that is responsible for the progressive nature of neurodegeneration. Since, at present, there are few therapies for the wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, scientists are still in search of new therapeutic approaches to the problem. An early contribution of neuroprotective and antiinflammatory strategies for these disorders seems particularly desirable because isolated treatments cannot be effective. In this contest, marijuana derivatives have attracted special interest, although these compounds have always raised several practical and ethical problems for their potential abuse. Nevertheless, among Cannabis compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), which lacks any unwanted psychotropic effect, may represent a very promising agent with the highest prospect for therapeutic use.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Iuvone T, Esposito G, De Filippis D, Scuderi C, Steardo L

    Source

    MeSH

    Alzheimer Disease
    Animals
    Cannabidiol
    Cytoprotection
    Disease Models, Animal
    Humans
    Huntington Disease
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Neurodegenerative Diseases
    Neuroprotective Agents
    Parkinson Disease
    Prion Diseases

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19228180