Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cannabis – the good, the evil, the ugly

01.03.2012
Cannabis-like substances that are produced by the body have both therapeutic and harmful properties, besides their well-known intoxicating effects, and the body’s cannabinoid system may be a target for new strategies in cancer treatment. This is what Sofia Gustafsson finds in her dissertation at Umeå University in Sweden.

Abuse of cannabis and preparations containing synthetic cannabis-like substances (cannabinoids) is on the rise all over Europe. At the same time, cannabis-based drugs have been approved for certain medical purposes, and in Sweden a compound was approved for symptom alleviation in multiple sclerosis (MS) just the other day.

Intensive research is underway about whether new substances that affect the body’s own cannabinoids can be exploited for medical purposes, for instance, to relieve pain and to inhibit the growth of tumors. These are the reasons why Sofia Gustafsson studied the impact of cannabinoids on both the nervous system and tumor cells.

The body’s own cannabinoids, so-called endocannabinoids, mediate a number of different functions in the central nervous system and in the immune system and are involved in motor movement, reward effects, and learning and memory processes. Cannabinoids from the plant kingdom and synthetically produced cannabinoids affect both of these functions, all of which are mediated via cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinoids have moreover been shown to affect the fate of cells. Cannabinoids protect some nerve cells, whereas cells in certain types of brain tumors, such as glioma, are stimulated to commit programmed cell death (apoptosis).

Most research on the effects of cannaboids on the nervous system has focused on the adult, fully developed nervous system, while we have relatively little knowledge about the effects on a nervous system that is still developing.

In summary, the findings of Sofia Gustafsson’s studies show that cannabinoids can be toxic for cancer cells as well as for nerve cells, and that they decrease emryonal survival.

These findings are important for our knowledge both of the potential of the cannabinoid system as a target system for new strategies in cancer treatment and of the risks of new drugs, such as Spice, on nerve development.

Contact: Sofia Gustafsson, +46-70 288 73 83, +46-90 785 15 14, sofia.gustafsson@pharm.umu.se

Bertil Born | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:488475&rvn=1

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>