Research shows that there is a link between the prevention of Parkinson's disease and the use of CBD thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this powerful and still largely unknown active ingredient. In the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease, CBD can help minimize some of its symptoms; and it can also influence the course the disease takes as it progresses. We tell you about it in detail below.
What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is caused by the degeneration of neurons, the cells of the nervous system, and therefore belongs to the neurodegenerative diseases. This degeneration leads to a deficit of dopamine which influences the movement capacity of the patient, who presents bradykinesia (slowness of movements), muscular rigidity and resting tremor.
Treatment of Parkinson's disease
The most effective treatment today is the replacement of this dopamine deficit by oral administration of a dopamine precursor: levodopa (L-DOPA).
The disease is aggravated because, although the response to this treatment is usually very good at the beginning, in the long run the treatment generates abnormal movements called dyskinesias. The problem is that these dyskinesias can become more disabling than the symptoms of the disease itself.
The role of CBD in Parkinson's disease
Different ways of delaying the onset or limiting these dyskinesias have been investigated, and a very promising one may be precisely that of neuromodulation, where the endocannabinoid system (ECS) would play an important role, as it participates in the physiological neuroregulation of the ganglia, helping to control movement.
Cannabidiol or CBD has an undisputed compensatory role over endogenous cannabinoids and acts as a neuromodulator and neuroprotectant in some experimental models of Parkinson's disease.
CBD activates several types of receptors, triggering a variety of effects in the Central Nervous System (CNS).
The actions of CBD could be divided between those carried out through the endogenous cannabinoid system and those that act independently of it.
Therefore, CBD treatment may play a neuroprotective and neuromodulatory role in the early stages of the disease.
Prevention and causes of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's seems to be triggered by unknown factors linked to aging and the environment. But what is undoubtedly clear is that both oxidative stress and inflammation of nerve tissue play an obvious role, as neurons are extremely sensitive to both situations, to the point of complete destruction.
Therefore, protection against oxidation and inflammation is probably one of the most effective pathways for neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease.
In addition, glial cells or neuroglia (auxiliary cells of the nervous tissue that complement somatic cells, mainly responsible for nerve function) participate as essential elements in the development of the disease.
Therefore, the possibility of modulating these processes is a new and very promising way to treat Parkinson's disease.
Clinical studies of CBD and Parkinson's disease and main findings
Cannabinoids rescue injured cells thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, generating neuroprotection against the disease.
As CBD upregulates CB1 and CB2 receptors in glial cells, it may act as a neuroprotectant and could be effective in the treatment of dyskinesias in patients with Parkinson's disease.
An important finding contributed to propose CBD as a therapeutic target component in patients with early Parkinson's disease: the degree of physiological activity of the brain base nuclei involved in Parkinson's disease showed better functionalism in the presence of higher CBD values.
In this study, a reduction of anxiety and psychosis associated with Parkinson's disease could also be observed.
The same authors also developed a study on the effect of CBD on REM sleep problems associated with Parkinson's, in which clear improvements were also observed.
Research on the properties of CBD has only just begun.
In the coming years we will see clinical evidence of its numerous benefits, both those already proven (reducing anxiety, improving sleep, increasing concentration, reducing pain...) and those whose potential has just begun to be explored, such as improving fertility, treating diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis or hypertension, as well as preventing radiodermitis in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.
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