The well-known marijuana chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, might need anti-inflammatory properties that would assist in slowing psychological decline in as much as 50% of HIV sufferers, in line with a brand new examine from researchers at Michigan State College.
“It is believed that cognitive perform decreases in lots of these with HIV partly as a result of persistent irritation that happens within the mind,” the examine’s lead writer, Norbert Kaminski, informed Michigan State College Right this moment. “This (the swelling) occurs as a result of the immune system is continually being stimulated to struggle off illness.”
The analysis group found that compounds in marijuana, like THC, acted like anti-inflammatories and decreased the variety of infected white blood cells (monocytes) and the proteins they discharge. By antiretroviral remedy — a typical type of remedy that features a mixture of medicine to maintain the virus at bay — white blood cells can grow to be overstimulated and infected as effectively.
“This lower of cells might decelerate, or possibly even cease, the inflammatory course of,” co-author Mike Rizzo informed the college newspaper, “doubtlessly serving to sufferers keep their cognitive perform longer.”
For the examine, blood samples had been taken from 40 HIV sufferers and their ranges of white blood cells had been recorded. A number of the volunteers had been then given marijuana and the researchers analyzed the impact the drug had on their white rely.
“The sufferers who did not smoke marijuana had a really excessive stage of inflammatory cells in comparison with those that did use,” Kaminski stated. “The truth is, those that used marijuana had ranges fairly near a wholesome individual not contaminated with HIV.”
The group is hopeful that understanding extra about how marijuana chemical substances and white blood cells work together might result in higher therapies to assist keep the psychological and cognitive perform of HIV sufferers.
“It won’t be folks smoking marijuana,” Kaminski stated. “It is likely to be folks taking a capsule that has a number of the key compounds discovered within the marijuana plant that would assist.”