Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative neurological disease that causes problems with people’s memory, ability to think and their behavior. It is a devastating disease to live with, both for the individual that has the disease and for the family, friends and loved ones.
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there is growing evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders. In this complete guide to CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s, we explain what the symptoms of the stages of development are and why scientists think that CBD oil may be able to slow the progression of the disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that an estimated 5 million Americans suffer from. It is named after the German psychiatrist and neuropathologist who first identified the disease in 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He found that the disease slowly destroys the memory and the thinking ability of patients.
Alzheimer’s usually occurs in people in their mid-60s. Early onset Alzheimers can occur in people as young as 30, although that is relatively rare. Alzheimer’s is not reversible. Although it may first manifest itself as a minor loss of memory, it will usually progress to a point that the patient is no longer able to carry out even the simplest tasks. Feeding themselves, dressing and taking care of themselves will no longer be possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
The main sign that doctors use to diagnose Alzheimer’s is the progressive decline of a person’s cognitive functions which interferes with their ability to work and carry normal daily tasks. The symptoms can be broken down into five main types, as follows:
Reduction in the Ability Learn and Retain New Information.
The early signs of Alzheimer’s are often ignored as they are simply put down to old age. They are often jokingly referred to as “senior moments”. These early symptoms can include repeatedly asking the same questions, losing personal objects, forgetting dates and appointments, and getting lost on a route that was once very familiar.
Impaired Reasoning and Judgement
A person’s judgment and decision-making skills may be impaired by Alzheimer’s. They may show signs of not recognizing danger. They may find it hard to make decisions. Complex tasks may become difficult for them, and they may find it increasingly difficult to manage their own money.
Reduction in Visuospatial Abilities
Alzheimer’s suffers will often display signs of visuospatial issues that are not related to any loss of eyesight. For example, they may find it hard to recognize faces and they may not be able to find things that they can see quite clearly.
Impaired Speech and Reading and Writing Skills
There is likely to be a reduction in reading and writing skills and speech may become impaired. This initially shows as a difficulty in remembering names and common words.
Changes in Behavior and Personality
A person with Alzheimer’s may display changes to their personality and behavioral patterns. They may become easily agitated or appear to be withdrawn and apathetic. They can also display a loss of empathy and sometimes become uncharacteristically aggressive.
What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and will worsen over time. The time that it will take each patient to move from the milder symptoms to more serious symptoms can vary considerably. There are no set standardized stages that the progression of Alzheimer’s can be put into. However, here is a guide to the seven stages of Alzheimer’s that are commonly referred to.
No or Very Limited Outward Symptoms
At the very early stages of Alzheimer’s, the patient may display no outward signs of the condition at all. If a person at this early stage was to undergo a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, however, the disease would be detectable.
Early Mild Signs
Initially, you might notice some very mild changes in a person’s behavior who has early mild-stage Alzheimer’s. At this stage, the condition wouldn’t affect a person’s ability to work or to carry out normal tasks, but they may occasionally forget words, or they might start to misplace things.
Early Mild Decline
During stage three, the symptoms will become much more noticeable. The symptoms will include signs of short-term memory loss, an inability to make plans, and quickly forgetting things like the names of people that they have recently met.
In time, the symptoms will worsen. An Alzheimer’s sufferer in moderate decline may forget things about their own past. Might have difficulties filling in forms or writing out checks. They will have problems with preparing food and cooking. They may forget things like what day of the week it is, what month it is, or even what season it is.
Moderate to Severe Decline
As the disease progresses, the symptoms will worsen further. In moderately severe decline, a person may forget where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. They will forget things like their home address and their own telephone number. They can become confused by everyday chores as well, for example, choosing what clothes will be appropriate for the weather.
An Alzheimer’s patient in severe decline is likely to start to forget people’s names. Even the names of people who are close to them. There may also be signs of delusions. For example, getting dressed to go work, even though the person stopped working some time ago. At this stage, someone with Alzheimer’s may also need assistance with daily tasks, like taking a bath or going to the bathroom.
Extremely Severe Decline
During the final stages of Alzheimer’s, a person’s ability to perform even the most basic of tasks will begin to diminish. They are likely to lose the ability to feed themselves, sit up unaided, or walk. They are also likely to not be able to tell when they are hungry or thirsty, so their care will be managed very carefully.
How CBD Affects the Brain
The effects of CBD on the brain are still being studied, but early results suggest that CBD has a range of effects on the brain that could be beneficial in the treatment of some neurological disorders and mental health conditions.
In a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, scientists concluded that CBD has anticonvulsant properties, which can help prevent seizures in epilepsy patients. They also concluded it has antipsychotic properties, which can help reduce the occurrence of psychotic episodes in patients with schizophrenia. Lastly, they also concluded that it has anxiolytic properties, which can reduce anxiety in people with social anxiety disorders and antidepressant properties.
It has also been discovered that CBD possesses certain neuroprotective properties that may help protect against neurological degenerative diseases and, in some cases, may be able to repair the damage caused by neurological degenerative diseases.
The Effects of CBD with Alzheimer’s Disease?
While there is still no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there is growing interest in the medical world into the benefits that CBD oil might offer Alzheimer’s patients. Research carried out by the Tim Karl and Carl Group that was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology concluded that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties might reduce and possibly inhibit the progressive impairment of functional and cognitive functions that occur with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is believed that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. When oxidative stress occurs in the brain, it can cause synapses within the brain and a loss of neurons. The antioxidant properties of CBD oil for Alzheimer’s could help slow this process.
Inflammation is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms, but when inflammation becomes chronic, it can contribute to the development of many neurological diseases. These diseases include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it a potentially effective treatment for the disease.
CBD has also shown promise as a neurogenesis stimulant that could regenerate neural tissue and slow down the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
What Is the Best CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s?
When you are buying CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s, the most important thing to consider is the concentrations of the cannabinoids CBD and THC in the oil.
The best CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s is hemp CBD oil that has high concentrations of Cannabidiol and low concentrations of THC. THC is the cannabinoid that creates the high feeling you get when smoking marijuana.
Please also be aware that products labeled “hemp oil”, rather than CBD hemp oil, are likely to contain no CBD or very low concentrations of CBD. As it is the CBD that creates the beneficial effects for Alzheimer’s sufferers, ordinary hemp oil will have little or no effect on the progression of the disease.
CBD Oil For Alzheimer’s Prevention?
Scientists are still unsure what causes Alzheimer’s, but they do know that when a person develops the disease, their brain physically changes. The brain loses healthy cells and twisted fibers, called neurofibrillary tangles, develop in the brain cells.
There are a few contributing factors as to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. These are genetics, head injuries, age, and women are more prone to Alzheimer’s than men. There is also some evidence to suggest that high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also be risk factors.
Given the uncertainty about the causes of Alzheimer’s, there is no guaranteed way to protect yourself from the disease. However, the neuroprotective properties of CBD might help to slow the development of degenerative neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.
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CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s – Get Your Facts Straight
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