Telomeres and Brain Health by Dr. Pepper Hernandez
With all the new research coming to light every day, scientists are diving into cannabis. Wouldn't that be wonderful to find out right now in this time of life. Not saying that the powerful healing properties of cannabis alone were not enough but now…could it also prove to reverse aging? Let it be known that I am simply putting together a theory. But with the correct digging, I seem to have found a few leads. I am just such a neuro-geek and cannabis enthusiast, I suppose it only seems correct to inquire. So, a recent study is leading us to question even more than ever before. The results add to a promising list of findings that should continue encouraging cannabis research.
According to new research published recently in the scientific journal Nature Medicine,
a team of researchers carried out a few experiments. These tests include low doses of THC on mice at three different life stages: two months, 12 months (mature) and 18 months (old age). These scientists believe the THC stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a biochemical pathway throughout the central and peripheral nervous system that becomes less active as mice (and other animals, including humans) get older. The study builds from a theory that the brain’s endocannabinoid system is related to cognitive aging and decline. The older we get, the more the activity in this system slows down; our brains gradually produce fewer naturally occurring endocannabinoids. The outcomes from this slowdown aren’t entirely understood, but there’s enough evidence from animal models to suggest that it’s tied to memory loss and decreased learning ability.
According to professor Andreas Zimmer, one of the study’s authors, "With increasing age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces," Zimmer continued, "When the activity of the cannabinoid system declines, we find rapid aging in the brain."
“If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care then that is more than we could have imagined,” lead author Andras Bilkei-Gorzo at Germany’s University of Bonn said.
So what actually causes the body to age then? Have you ever heard of Telomeres? Well, I have been fascinated by the studies that have been done recently. The relatively recent discovery of telomeres completely changed the way researchers study longevity and the process of aging. In fact, the researchers who discovered telomeres won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009.
Telomeres are basically compound structures at the end of a chromosome. In the nucleus of each of the billions of cells that compose our bodies, chromosomes make up DNA. At the end of every chromosome, you can find small structures called telomeres. They progressively get shorter with time, and their length can be linked to age. Each time a cell divides, the DNA unwraps, and the information within is copied. Because of how cells divide, that very last bit of a chromosome, the telomere, cannot be completely copied. It is thought that, as a cell divides, the telomeres become shorter and shorter each time until they are gone. This would cause aging in individuals because the cell simply ages and is no longer able to replicate. Researchers have found that older people have shorter telomeres. Most cells can replicate approximately 50 times before the telomeres become too short. Some researchers believe that telomeres are the supposed "secret to longevity" and that there are circumstances in which telomeres will not shorten. (www.news-medical.net)
Telomeres play a central role in cell fate and aging by adjusting the cellular response to stress and growth stimulation on the basis of previous cell divisions and DNA damage. At least a few hundred nucleotides of telomere repeats must “cap” each chromosome end to avoid activation of DNA repair pathways. The chance of the latter increases as the average telomere length decreases. The average telomere length is set and maintained in cells of the germline which typically express high levels of telomerase.
Currently, there is limited research on cannabis effects on the brain and aging when it comes to telomeres but it is only a matter of time. As the studies and research advance, they will be able to find the link between the two. Neuroscience is gaining momentum when it comes to this topic of research. There is a bright future for all of us aging, which is everyone by the way. University of Bonn scientists teamed up with academicians at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to determine the impact of cannabis on the brain's aging process. The researchers determined cannabis reverses aging processes within the brains of mice. Worldhealth.net We are in a brilliant time of life and having all the research on cannabis coming to the forefront is even more amazing.
Go forth, Go Cannabis…
Raw/Live Nutritionist, Naturopath, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, Medical Intuitive & Ascension Guide