What is Dementia?
Dementia is a chronic condition characterised by a progressive decline in cognitive function. It is a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. The ability to think and perform tasks is affected due to dementia. The brain function is affected to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life. Dementia can happen to anyone but it is not a normal part of ageing. People over the age of 65 are more prone to getting it. There are various forms of dementia and all have their own causes.
What are the symptoms of dementia?
The early signs of dementia are subtle and may vary, common symptoms of dementia are as follows:
- Increase in confusion
- Trouble remembering recent events
- Memory problems
- Unable to do everyday tasks
- Behaviour and personality changes
- Difficulty in concentrating
Dementia and medicinal CBD
There is little evidence currently for cannabis medicines in the treatment of patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, according to the TGA, there is may be scientific evidence to support medicinal cannabis in treating dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Further, the TGA’s Guidance for the use of medicinal cannabis in Australia: Patient Information says that medicinal cannabis is not appropriate for people with active or previous anxiety disorders.
Currently, there are clinical trials going on to study the effects on behavioural symptoms among patients who consume medicinal cannabis. While there is not enough proof, some claim that CBD oil can stop, slow or prevent the diseases that cause dementia and also reduce behavioural symptoms such as aggression and agitation. However, long term effects are still unknown and could also have negative effects on the brain.
What should patients keep in mind while consuming cannabis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s?
While using medicinal cannabis to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, one should always consult your doctor first and learn about all the potential risks that come along with it. It is important to note that only the doctor will be able to tell you if it is suitable for your body and if it is a safe choice. One should also remember that research is still being conducted to learn about the effects of using cannabis for this treatment. The risk could be higher if patients are on multiple medications. Following this, getting approval from the TGA is very important and it is not advised to buy it from the black market as they are not tested. Moreover, Patients should not be allowed to drive or do other activities after using medicinal cannabis.
If you are giving your close ones medicinal cannabis as a treatment, they should not be left unattended. Always make sure that someone is monitoring their behaviour.
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