New Hope for Multiple Sclerosis: Cannabidiol

When it comes to treatments for multiple sclerosis, cannabidiol protects the nervous system. Medical News Today reports on a study done on mice with multiple sclerosis-like diseases to determine whether cannabidiol can prevent inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The study was published in Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

Dr Ewa Kozela from Tel Aviv University explains inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response but gets out of hand in diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). His study investigates how cannabidiol, a compound found in the hemp plant, can be utilized to protect the nervous system and its function by regulating inflammation.

Dr Kozela and his team targeted immune cells that harm the brain and spinal cord with the cannabinoid known as cannabidiol (CBD). In response to the compound, immune cells in paralyzed mice showed less inflammation. In particular, the interleukin 17 (IL-17) closely associated with MS was reduced.

They conclude CBD restrains immune cells from triggering the production of IL-17 and limits the molecule’s ability to damage the brain and spinal cord.

A study done in 2011 showed CBD prevented immune cells attacking nerve cells in the spinal cord of mice with MS-like symptoms. The partially paralyzed limbs of the mice regained movement after they were injected with CBD. At first, mice responded by twitching their tails and then began walking without a limp. The research found much less inflammation in the spinal cords of mice treated with CBD than in untreated counterparts, which lead to the further investigation.

More than 400 000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people globally suffer from MS. Plus-minus 200 new cases are diagnosed each week in the United States alone. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 – 40, but MS also affects children and the aged.

As a proven treatment for multiple sclerosis, cannabidiol is almost there.

As the quest for a treatment of MS continues, research into CBD as the solution seems very promising.

According to anecdotal reports, Cannabinoids like cannabidiol have proved to be highly effective in helping patients manage many of the symptoms of (MS).

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