Wednesday September 19, 2018

Extract From Cannabis Can Help Treat Psychosis, says Study

All participants were studied in an MRI scanner while performing a memory task which engages three regions of the brain known to be involved in psychosis

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Cannabis extract may offer treatment for psychosis: Study. Pixabay
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A single dose of the non-intoxicating compound of cannabis — cannabidiol — can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psychosis, results of a clinical trial, led by an Indian-origin doctor, has revealed.

Psychosis is a mental disorder characterised by a disconnection from reality.

Brain activity in the people at risk of psychosis remains abnormal compared to the healthy ones.

But in people who had cannabidiol, the abnormal brain activity was less severe than for those who received a placebo, suggesting cannabidiol can help re-adjust brain activity to normal levels.

The results suggest that cannabidiol may normalise dysfunction in striatum, parahippocampal cortex, and midbrain — brain regions which are critically implicated in psychosis — and this may underlie its therapeutic effects in psychosis, the researchers explained.

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Cannabis leaf. Pixabay

“Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional anti-psychotics,” said Sagnik Bhattacharyya from Britain’s King’s College, London.

For the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the team studied a small group of young people who had not yet been diagnosed with psychosis but who were experiencing distressing psychotic symptoms, along with healthy controls.

All participants were studied in an MRI scanner while performing a memory task which engages three regions of the brain known to be involved in psychosis.

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“One of the main advantages of cannabidiol is that it is safe and seems to be very well tolerated, making it, in some ways, an ideal treatment,” Bhattacharyya said.

“If successful, this trial will provide definitive proof of cannabidiol’s role as an antipsychotic treatment and pave the way for use in clinic,” he noted. (IANS)

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Pancreatic Cancer: Cannabis Compound May Boost Survival

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients

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Cannabis extract may offer treatment for psychosis: Study. Pixabay

A naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis along with chemotherapy could increase the survival rate by three times among mice with pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.

According to the researchers, the cannabinoid named Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause psychoactive effects and has been already cleared for use at the clinics.

“This is a remarkable result. We found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment,” said lead author Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London in Britain.

“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials. If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug,” he added.

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Cannabis leaf. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Oncogene, the team tested the impact of the cannabidiol on the use of the commonly used chemotherapy medication Gemcitabine as a treatment for pancreatic cancer in mice.

“Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed,” Falasca noted.

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The team explained that CBD is also known to improve the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, meaning it could also improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

While the current study only looked at the effect of CBD in mice, clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm whether or not CBD improves survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients, the researchers said. (IANS)

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