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Neuroplasticity and THC

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Neuroplasticity and THC

The role of neuroplasticity (i.e. the way that the brain develops over time) is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage.  It occurs in response to experiences and consists of neurogenesis (neuron creation) and neuro-degeneration (neuron death).  According to this study from Israel performed by Sackler Faculty of Medicine, there are a number of ways in which neuroplasticity is measured.

Extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) are protein enzymes that modify other proteins.  These protein enzymes are involved in regulating the processes involved with cell differentiation.  Researchers observed the amount of ERKs in the brain and found long-lasting differences within the hippocampus (involved in memory integration), frontal cortex (involved in planning, judging, personality, etc.), and cerebellum (involved in regulating balance, attention, etc.).

cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a protein that binds to the cAMP DNA sequence. It is believed that CREB plays a role in neuronal plasticity and long-term memory formation. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is protein that helps maintain the process of neurogenesis. A study published in 1995 suggests that it is necessary for normal neural development.

The researchers at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine investigated the levels of CREB and BDNF after the THC treatment. They found pCREB (phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein) was elevated in the hippocampus. BDNF levels increased in the frontal cortex as well.

“These long-lasting effects indicate that a single treatment with an ultra-low dose of THC can modify brain plasticity and induce long-term behavioral and developmental effects in the brain.” — Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Israel

Quoted from Source: medicaljane.com – study shows thc can help encourage neuroplasticity

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