According to the World Health Organization as many as 55 million people worldwide live with some level of dementia. That number is expected to increase to 78 million by 2030 and up to 139 million by 2050.
Dementia is a syndrome that involves the deterioration of cognitive function among those that suffer from the condition. The deterioration goes beyond what is expected as a result of typical human biological aging.
The condition disturbs multiple higher cortical functions including but not limited to learning and memory, focusing, language, motor perception, and social cognition. Cases range from mild symptoms all the way to cases in which the patient is completely debilitated because of the condition.
Heightened agitation among patients suffering from dementia is common, as patients are often disoriented and become frustrated by their surroundings and interactions with people they are unfamiliar with. Fortunately, a recent study in Israel found that cannabidiol (CBD) may help. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Tel Aviv, Israel: The administration of plant-derived extracts containing high levels of CBD and low levels of THC reduces agitation in patients suffering from behavioral disturbances related to dementia, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.
Israeli researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of CBD-dominant extracts (30 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC) compared to placebo in a cohort of seniors (mean age: 79 years) with dementia. Subjects in the trial received sublingual drops of either cannabis extracts or a placebo (olive oil) three times daily for a period of 16 weeks.
“Patients in the investigational group experienced a significantly greater reduction in sleep disturbances, and in agitation and aggression sub-score using two different measurement tools. The improvements were accompanied with non-serious side-effects,” authors reported. “We recommend conducting a large scale randomized controlled trial on behavioral disturbances related to dementia and to compare clinical sub-types of dementia.”
The findings are consistent with those of other studies – such as those here, here, and here – reporting that the use of either cannabis flowers or extracts mitigates agitation in dementia patients.
Full text of the study, “Effects of rich cannabidiol oil on behavioral disturbances in patients with dementia: A placebo controlled randomized clinical trial,” appears in Frontiers in Medicine.