Endocannabinoids in Alzheimer's disease and their impact on normative cognitive performance: A case-control and cohort study

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Abstract

Background. Neuropathological, animal, and cell culture studies point to a role for the body's own endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) system in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and treatment. To date, no published studies have investigated the potential utility of circulating eCBs as diagnostic biomarkers for AD or the impact of central eCBs on cognition. Results. In comparison with healthy controls, there were no significant differences in measured eCB concentrations in plasma samples from patients with AD. Detectable eCBs in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) had no relationship to cognitive performance in healthy controls at risk for AD. In pooled plasma samples, an inverse correlation was observed between plasma levels of the eCB 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) and TNF- (r = -0.41, p < 0.02). Conclusion. These results suggest that circulating endocannabinoids do not have utility as diagnostic biomarkers for AD and do not have a robust correlation with cognitive performance. Circulating levels of 2-AG may downregulate TNF- production.

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Koppel, J., Bradshaw, H., Goldberg, T. E., Khalili, H., Marambaud, P., Walker, M. J., … Davies, P. (2009). Endocannabinoids in Alzheimer’s disease and their impact on normative cognitive performance: A case-control and cohort study. Lipids in Health and Disease, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-8-2

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