Mad cow disease is a form of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy that affects adult cows. Its scientific name is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. It affects the central nervous system by way of malformed prion proteins. As is common knowledge, the CNS is paramount to the body functions from mobility to digestion and even temperature regulation. Thus, when this system is afflicted there will be interruptions of functions all around. It takes a cow between two weeks and six months to die from the condition.
The cow will exhibit nervousness and aggression. There will be gradually deteriorating coordination and mobility capability. The cow will also lose weight and experience a decreased milk output. CBD is not only useful for humans but is also effectively applicable to animals. Studies have shown that CBD can turn an aggressive animal to placid quickly and the condition will last for a while. The CBD can be induced in drinking water or fed directly into the cow. It could also be injected into the body cavity. The one study carried out in this respect has the animals receive CBD in their body cavity and a significant improvement was noted.
Human Mad Cows
Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease is the human form of mad cow disease. It is in the same class of TSEs as Mad Cow disease. Variant CJD is transmitted through ingestion of beef contaminated with Mad Cow disease central nervous system tissue. It can also be passed from a blood donor with the disease. Classic or sporadic CJD is another type of CJD that occurs very rarely in about two people for every million. 15% of the classic CJD cases are caused by a hereditary genetic mutation. However, the other 85% are unknown. The classic CJD is more common in people over 65 years of age. Once a human being starts to show symptoms of CJD, they will usually be pronounced dead within 6-13 moths. There is no cure for this. The CJD therapies are targeted towards improving quality of life, managing symptoms, and delaying fatality.
The symptoms are common with those experienced in the usual central nervous system disorders. Later in the progression of the disease, dementia develops. Then in even more advanced stages, an MRI can detect abnormal brain activity. In fact, a definite diagnosis is made upon inspection of the brain tissue post mortem. This difficulty in diagnosis is the biggest deterrent to researching the condition and finding therapies that cure as opposed to just delaying inevitability. CJD is synonymous with massive neuronal cells death and histopathological lesions.
There has only been one study into the efficacy of CBD for TSEs. It was conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of Neuroscience. It was found that while CBD might be unable to prevent the occurrence of malformed prion proteins, it can inhibit accumulation in animal models. By peripheral injection, scrappies (a similar TSE) infected mice were found to have less cerebral presence of malformed prion proteins. It was also found that the mice survived for longer than they would have without the CBD.
Most CJD therapies are unable to penetrate the blood brain barrier. This is a homerun for CBD. It increases porosity of the barrier and even protects malformed prion cells that might have had trouble getting through to the CNS from seeping through. It had been hypothesized that a therapy with cyclic molecule basis would be more successful. CBD was the perfect candidate thus the above study.
The same study found that the neurotoxic effects of these damaged prion proteins were inhibited through activation of the cleanup crew. CBD stirs up astrogiliosis. This is the increase of astrocytes t the points of CNS trauma for support and insulation of neurons. Through the same process and others, CBD is able to deter neurodegeration that would be brought about by prion infection.
There is a stipulation though and a bit of a bright spot. Bright spot first, this study used very small doses in the body cavity. One may wonder what would happen if the dosage were increased and a more direct approach taken. Could it be possible to abolish the malformed prion cells all together if these conditions are enhanced? It was found that if the CBD is administered immediately upon infection, the effects were positive and fully covered the affected areas. If the CBD was administered within 30 days of the infection, there was still some efficacy in mitigating the situation. Any longer than that, nary an effect on increase of survival period was noted. This is to say that, there is need for a way to diagnose the disease early before the damaged prion cells have taken root and penetrated through the blood brain barrier into the critical parts of the brain.
CBD to Clear CJD Symptoms
After the prion proteins have been prevented from accumulation, it will take a while for the symptoms to get better. It is therefore advisable to keep taking it to keep the symptoms in check. Memory loss is a common symptom and after effect of CJD. Once the central nervous system has been damaged, this is to be expected. To plead the case for cannabis in this respect, the endocannabinoid system has to be called in. The ECS modulates neural substrates that accompany memory function. There is a noticeable alteration in neuromodulatory systems that in turn affect molecular mechanisms relevant to cognitive process in a CJD afflicted brain.
Studies have shown that cannabis can affect long-term potentiation. Potentiation is a process that underlies learning and memory. Another study used PET and MRI scans to note the effect of cannabis on memory. The scans watched for changes in neural activation when performing memory tasks. It was found that cannabis caused significant change in regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism. With such scientific backing, it would be a good idea to use cannabis to manage the memory loss and dementia at the very least.
People with CJD have reported experiencing imaginary sensations. They will even react to these imaginary stimuli. This is a symptom of psychosis. If left alone, it can escalate and the person could become a danger to his or herself and others. The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study that studied people with psychotic symptoms over the curse of six with consistent administration of CBD. It was noted that the hallucinations and other symptoms faded gradually over time.
The central nervous system contributes significantly to the ability to move around. The CNS orchestrates even an action as simple as picking the nose or touching an eyebrow. With lesions, the brain inadvertently directs the muscles to do things they should not. One will experience jerky movements and muscle twitching. Over time, walking will be difficult because the correct message to instigate the movement is curtailed. CBD will be useful in combating muscle spasticity. It will also rewire the necessary connections to ensure one is able to walk, as they should.
More Input from Science
C JD is still a death sentence. In over twenty years, drugs have not been developed to effectively treat the condition without spelling death within a year. It has already been ten years since the thought of CBD and CJD occurred. There has not been new research or studies to help advance the journey. I may be because of the very small percentage of people who are affected by this and the rarity. It is still a possibility. A damning possibility that requires some attention from the scientific community.
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