In January 2022, the Ministry of Health in Israel approved the use of medical cannabis to treat Dementia and Alzheimer’s in the adult population.
Sade Biotech, the company behind ASAYA™ big-data platform, in cooperation with the National Pain Center, assist Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in the process of obtaining approval and then continuous monitoring of the treatment. According to Ministry of Health, there are approx. 130,000 dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in Israel. These patients, especially their families and caregivers, suffer from a variety of related syndromes such as hallucinations, aggression, irritability, indifference, sleep disorders and more. The Approval of the Ministry of Health constitutes a professional and clinical seal for the efficacy and safety of the treatment of dementia/Alzheimer’s using medical cannabis.
The first evidence of medicinal use of cannabis plant dates back to about 5,000 years ago in Eastern Europe. A Chinese medical text of around 1,578 AD, describes the use of cannabis to treat infections, parasitic infections and bleeding. The pioneers of Jamestown brought the marijuana plant, commonly known as hemp, to North America in 1611, and hemp fiber was an important export. The great British herbalist Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) wrote in his book The English Doctor (sic) that marijuana extracts “calmed inflammation in the head … Easing Gout’s anguish… Culpepper’s preparations probably had little psychoactive content, since the local cannabis developed in the northern regions usually had low THC content.
In the US, throughout the nineteenth and early 20th centuries, cannabis was widely used as a remedy drug and appeared in the American pharmacopoeia in 1850. It’s been nearly 60 years before California, in 1996, became the first state to legalize medically supervised cannabis under the Compassionate Use Act. Currently, nine U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana (alongside countries like Canada and Uruguay) and 29 U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana, along with many countries around the world, including Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Australia, Poland and more.
In recent years, there has been widespread acceptance of the efficacy and necessity of medical cannabis treatment, but it is also necessary to look soberly at its shortcomings: marijuana without medical supervision can lead to addiction. Its use in adolescence can affect mental development, and regular use can also lead to a high risk of anxiety and depression.
Alzheimer’s disease and cannabis
According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is demonstrated by a dynamic decrease in psychological function. The disease is more common in people over the age of 65, with a dynamic decrease in memory, thinking, language and learning ability; the disease often begins with mild symptoms and ends with severe brain damage. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, as of 2019, one in 10 people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and the risk of disease in THED increases with age. A clinical study at the University of Toronto found that Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, was effective in treating fermentation and other behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Medical cannabis oil containing THC as a supplement leads to a significant reduction in neurobiological symptoms such as hallucinations, aggression, irritability, apathy, sleep disturbances and therapeutic distress. Medical cannabis can help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and slow the progression of the disease [link to research]. Moreover, THC, compared to existing drugs, is an impressive dominant inhibitor of amyloid aggregation β-peptide, the main neurotic marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently another study led by Dr. Hermosh of the Geriatric Division at Laniado Hospital, Israel, was published, and has provided evidence that controlled medical cannabis treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is relatively safe and effective for treating behavioral disorders in patients with dementia/Alzheimer’s.
In view of the recent approval of the inidication in Israel, nursing homes, retirement organizations, health plans and patient families are currently looking for an effective solution such as ASAYA of a Sade biotech – a solution that will “wrap” patients and their families in a therapeutic envelope that will include bureaucratic processes (such as issuing/renewal of a license presecription), training, therapeutic follow-up and treatment personalization.
In Israel, The recommendation of a specialist doctor (usually psycho-geriatric) is required and a number of additional documents are required.
The Asaya team will assist families and patients throughout the process, including, if necessary, referring to a specialist for diagnosis and recommendation.
If you are a member of your country’s medical community, or a family member of a patient, and interested in treating Dementia/Alzheimer’s with Medical Cannabis, please contact Sade Biotech.