Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Avoiding Alzheimers disease

Jonathan urges me to smoke more dope in order to keep my Alzheimers disease from worsening:
LA JOLLA, CA, August 9, 2006 - Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque, the primary pathological marker for Alzheimer's disease. In fact, the study said, THC is "a considerably superior inhibitor of [amyloid plaque] aggregation" to several currently approved drugs for treating the disease.
In other research, omega-3 fatty acids may slow very early Alzheimer's:
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids for 6 months appears to be of little benefit in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to results of a study conducted in Sweden.

However, a second look at the data suggests that omego-3 fatty acids may protect cognitive function in patients with very mild, early stage AD.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish oil, reduces the risk of AD. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that the two predominant omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), preserve cognitive function.
Meanwhile, the pediatricians say:
HEAD growth in foetal life and infancy is associated with later intelligence, new research hints.

And catch-up increases do not appear to compensate for poor early growth.

"Brain growth in early life may be important in determining not only the level of peak cognitive function attained but also whether such function is preserved in old age," the study team writes in the journal Pediatrics.

"Older people with a larger head circumference tend to perform better on tests of cognitive function and may have reduced risks of cognitive decline and of Alzheimer's disease."
So if you weren't born with a big head, eat fish and smoke dope to avoid senility in old age.

Jonathan writes:
I never said you should "smoke dope". I believe what I implied is that if, as a condition precedent, you should ever make a scientific decision that, based on your medical condition (including e.g. family history), you should ever decide that the risk of contracting Alzheimer's would probably outweigh any deleterious side effects of inhaling [non-oxidized] THC from a [currently cost-prohibitive] vaporizer, then, and only then, you might want to take a gander at Dr. Craker's IRB- and FDA- approved proposal for clinical trials of THC for human subjects, and thereafter consider the possibility of signing up for a clinical trial.
I live in California which has "medical marijuana", allowing anyone to smoke dope if he has a letter from a physician. We have physicians who will gladly write a letter for a $200 fee. All you have to do is to pay the fee and give a reason. They accept just about any reason. Most of the people getting letters are not suffering from AIDS or any of the diseases that are used to get public sympathy. The easy way to get the letter is to just cite some condition that cannot be verified, such as migraine headaches, lower back pain, or low libido.

Barbara writes that I might have been misdiagnosed, as Alzheimers disease can only be properly diagnosed with an autopsy. That is correct -- Alzheimers cannot be distinguished from other forms of senility in a live patient. But no, I have not been diagnosed with Alzheimers or any other disease. I just have readers who think that I am smoking too much dope or not enough dope!

Jonathan writes:
Your comment on California's medical marijuana provision failed to register with me, the stuff about the "letter from a doctor is all it takes". Sorry I don't have a cite for you, but my understanding is that many if not most doctors won't risk providing such a letter to their patients, because if (when) the DEA finds out they did so, the DEA can have the doctor's license revoked, or, if they can't have the state license revoked, they can (and do) revoke the doctor's DEA #, effectively making it impossible for the doctor to write prescriptions for anything for anybody. Like, after four years of medical school, then advanced training, maybe they have med school educational loans, kids at home to feeed, etc., what courageous doctor is going to risk DEA revocation of his or her DEA # ?
No, I don't think that you are correct. California physicians have a medical license from the state, and a DEA license to prescribe federally controlled substances. If a physician abuses his DEA license to prescribe cocaine to someone for recreational use, then he can lose his DEA license.

But the California medical marijuana law doesn't even involve the DEA license. A physician just has to write a letter, and it is not called a "prescription". It does not use DEA-regulated distribution channels, as does Marinol. The patient is on his own to get the dope. The feds would have no basis for going after the physician.

By contrast, the feds did warn some Oregon physicians who were using their DEA license to give federally-distributed opium to patients who wanted to kill themselves. The Oregon physicians took their case to the US Supreme Court and won.

There are plenty of California physicians who write marijuana letters for the most frivolous of reasons. It may be that most California physicians prefer not to be in the business of writing such letters, but some do and they are never punished.

If you find any contrary info, then please post it.

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