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Cannabinoids May Enhance Motor Function Recovery Following a Stroke [Study]

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According to a new study published in the journal Stroke, activation of the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) – something done naturally by cannabis and cannabinoids – can increase “the number of new cortical neurons and, conceivably, enhancing motor functional recovery after stroke.”

“Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability characterized by physical, cognitive, and emotional disturbances”, begins the study’s abstract. “Unfortunately, pharmacological options are scarce. The cannabinoid type-2 receptor (CB2R) is neuroprotective in acute experimental stroke by anti-inflammatory mechanisms. However, its role in chronic stroke is still unknown.”

For the study, “stroke was induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice”, who were subsequently administered a CB2R agonist meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids. They were given the substance once daily for several days. Analysis of “immunofluorescence-labeled brain sections, 5-bromo-2́-deoxyuridine (BrdU) staining, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis of brain cell suspensions, and behavioral tests were performed.”

“Our data support that CB2R is fundamental for driving neuroblast migration and suggest that an endocannabinoid tone is required for poststroke neurogenesis by promoting neuroblast migration toward the injured brain tissue, increasing the number of new cortical neurons and, conceivably, enhancing motor functional recovery after stroke”, researchers conclude.

The full study can be found by clicking here.

The results are similar to a study published last year in the Journal of Neurochemistry, which concluded that; “CB1R may be involved in neuronal survival and in the regulation of neuroprotection during focal cerebral ischemia in mice.”

A separate study also published last year, by the journal Life Science, found that “CB2 activation is protective against cognitive deficits and tissue damage following permanent ischemia”.

A 2013 study published by the National Institute of Health and the journal Translational Stroke Research found that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors can reduce the harmful effects of strokes, and can even prevent them entirely.

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Anthony Martinelli is the Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog.com.

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