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Advil with Marijuana Could Treat Alzheimer's Disease and More

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Ibuprofen stops memory loss and other side effects of marijuana.

A common over-the-counter drug combined with marijuana can help keep side effects of THC at bay. New research shows how marijuana could also be used to treat Alzheimer's disease for which there is currently no helpful medication.


Marijuana that is used medicinally can also have the side effects A new study shows ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help reverse the memory loss and the "high" associated with marijuana. Scientists also found THC stops nerve damage in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The serendipitous findings mean marijuana might have a new medicinal use for treating Alzheimer's disease and even more medical conditions.

Ibuprofen with marijuana could mean broader medicinal use

Chu Chen, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and Neuroscience at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center said in a press release:"The results suggest that the use of medical marijuana could be broadened if patients concurrently take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen."

The active ingredient in marijuana is Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). Several drugs containing the compound have been approved by the FDA, mainly to curb nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

One of the reasons the FDA hasn't already approved THC containing drugs for other uses is because of the side-effects for which there is also no remedy - until now.

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How Advil kills marijuana effects

In mouse studies, Chen and colleagues found ibuprofen that is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) targets a region of the brain involved in memory and learning by reducing an enzyme known as as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).

Other examples of COX-2 inhibitors include Naproxen, Celebrex and Vioxx, which was taken off the market in 2004 over safety concerns of increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

But in their studies, the researchers found lowering levels of the COX-2 enzyme boosted memory in mice that was associated with repeated exposure to THC.

The scientists also found THC helps halt nerve damage associated with Alzheimer's disease for which there is currently no treatment.

The finding suggests marijuana's medicinal use could extend to treating Alzheimer's disease and more by combining ibuprofen with THC.

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