A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences has found that cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Animals in the study were given intrastriatal injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), which induces motor deficits akin to (PD). Animals were then treated with CBD. The study’s authors found that “CBD-treated animals showed a reduction of nigrostriatal degeneration accompanied by a recovery of motor performance.” These improvements appear to be facilitated by the activation of astrocytic transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a major component of the endocannabinoid system, which enhanced endogenous neuroprotective response of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF).
The authors, Giuliano and colleagues, hypothesize that activation of CNTF prevented neurodegeneration and enhanced the viability of dopaminergic neurons, thereby improving motor performance. Though these findings are preliminary, the study suggests that CBD could be used to limit the progression of PD rather than compensate for the loss of dopamine in the nigrostriatal pathway to alleviate the characteristic motor symptoms of the disease.
The International Journal of Molecular Sciences has more.