It was only a matter of time, given the inevitability of irony in this life. Researchers have found that a synthetic analogue of the active component of marijuana may prevent the cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. The same ingredient that at this very moment has stoned college students all over the United States looking high and low for their cell phones may have a clarifying effect on the cognitive function of their grandparents, enabling esteemed elders to live independently and safely. The observation comes from a study in which researchers injected cannabinoid or placebo and either amyloid or control protein into the brains of rats. After 2 months of injections, the researchers attempted to train the rats to find an underwater platform. The rats treated with cannabinoid and amyloid were the only ones able to find the platform. The combination activated immune cells to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. In a sad day for some of the Grateful Dead's oldest fans, future research will focus on the cannabinoid receptors not involved in producing the psychotropic effects associated with marijuana use.
Source: Pass the doobie, pops