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J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(4):1115-36. doi: 10.3233/JAD-141635.

The role of endocannabinoid signaling in the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy Department of Physiology and Pharmacology "V. Erspamer", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
2
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology "V. Erspamer", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive impairment and mental disorders. The actual cause and cascade of events in the progression of this pathology is not fully determined. AD is multifaceted in nature and is linked to different multiple mechanisms in the brain. This aspect is related to the lack of efficacious therapies that could slow down or hinder the disease onset/progression. The ideal treatment for AD should be able to modulate the disease through multiple mechanisms rather than targeting a single dysregulated pathway. Recently, the endocannabinoid system emerged as a novel potential therapeutic target to treat AD. In fact, exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids seem to be able to modulate multiple processes in AD, although the mechanisms that are involved are not fully elucidated. This review provides an update of this area. In this review, we recapitulate the role of endocannabinoid signaling in AD and the probable mechanisms through which modulators of the endocannabinoid system provide their effects, thus highlighting how this target might provide more advantages over other therapeutic targets.

KEYWORDS:

2-AG; Alzheimer's disease; CB1; CB2; FAAH; MAGL; amyloid-β; anandamide; cannabinoids; tau

PMID:
25147120
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-141635
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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