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Cannabis-Like Chemicals May be a Solution to Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome

The work of an international partnership of Scientific Research Centers from America and Europe, have found that cannabis-like chemicals in the brain can help repair the symptoms that are associated with . These studies could lead to treatments associated with autistic spectrum disorders.

The compound is called ” (2-AG) and is an element of a class of chemicals in the brain called endocannabinoid transmitters. The compounds are naturally formed in the brain and they respond by clinging to receptor proteins that marijuana chemicals also engage with.

People suffering from fragile X syndrome have neurons that are producing too much of the neurotransmitter glutamate. 2-AG is responsible for slowing down glutamate  in the brain, but sometimes the brain doesn’t produce 2-AG in the right place at the right time. The imbalance of 2-AG and glutamate is very little and can unfortunately make a dramatic difference. Symptoms of fragile X often include mental disability, delayed walking and language, and hyperactivity. It might also be a cause certain physical features such as enlarged  ears and an elongated face.

In a study of genetically modified mice producing symptoms almost identical to the fragile X syndrome in humans, scientists decided to use a marijuana-like compound that would inhibit the  (MGL) enzyme (that ultimately destroys 2-AG) , in order to boost 2-AG in the brain.

The boost of 2-AG, using marijuana-like chemicals, corrected the physiology and behavior of the mice. They overall acted like normal mice, unlike before they had fear and movements issues as the symptoms of Fragile X.

Cannabis has been proved to treat a variety of medical conditions including cancer and glaucoma. If these compounds are found in marijuana, can it be used as a treatment for Fragile X Syndrome  in the future?

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