Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preventing marijuana-induced memory problems with over-the-counter painkillers

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In addition to being used as a recreational drug, marijuana has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to epilepsy. However, its medical value is greatly limited by debilitating side effects. A study has revealed the molecular pathways responsible for marijuana-induced learning and memory problems. The findings suggest that preventing these side effects could be as easy as taking an over-the-counter painkiller.

In addition to being used as a recreational drug, marijuana has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to epilepsy. However, its medical value is greatly limited by debilitating side effects. A study published by Cell Press November 21st in the journal Cell has revealed the molecular pathways responsible for marijuana-induced learning and memory problems. The findings suggest that preventing these side effects could be as easy as taking an over-the-counter painkiller.

Related Articles


"Our studies have solved the longtime mystery of how marijuana causes neuronal and memory impairments," says senior study author Chu Chen of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "The results suggest that the use of medical marijuana could be broadened if patients concurrently take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen."

The main active ingredient in marijuana is Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and drugs based on this compound have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. But these drugs have not been approved for a wider range of conditions, in part because of Δ9-THC-induced side effects. Moreover, there are no effective FDA-approved treatments for these side effects because, until now, little was known about the molecular pathways underlying these impairments.

In the new study, Chen and his team discovered that Δ9-THC treatment caused an increase in levels of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the mouse hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. Drugs or genetic techniques that reduced COX-2 levels in mice prevented memory problems and neuronal abnormalities caused by repeated Δ9-THC exposure. Because COX-2 is inhibited by over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, the findings suggest an easy strategy to prevent the side effects of marijuana.

The researchers also discovered that Δ9-THC treatment reduced neuronal damage in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, and this beneficial effect persisted when the animals were simultaneously treated with a COX-2 inhibitor. "There are no effective medications currently available for preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease or halting disease progression," Chen says. "Our results suggest that the unwanted side effects of cannabis could be eliminated or reduced, while retaining its beneficial effects, by administering a COX-2 inhibitor along with Δ9-THC for the treatment of intractable medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cell, Chen et al. Δ9-THC-caused synaptic and memory impairments are mediated through COX-2 signaling. Cell, November 2013

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Preventing marijuana-induced memory problems with over-the-counter painkillers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121125855.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, November 21). Preventing marijuana-induced memory problems with over-the-counter painkillers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121125855.htm
Cell Press. "Preventing marijuana-induced memory problems with over-the-counter painkillers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121125855.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins