Norepinephrine as a Novel Regulator of Amyloid Beta Peptides
Norepinephrine exerts a global influence on brain function, from modulating local neuro-inflammatory responses to facilitating large-scale, task-related behaviors. Targeting the brain norepinephrine system has proven to be a powerful tool to treat stress-related psychiatric diseases such as depression and anxiety. Norepinephrine influences these highly complex disorders at least in part by mediating the central stress response, whose dysregulation results in hyper arousal, mood disorders, and several other chronic systemic diseases. Stress is also a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, and emerging evidence suggests an important role of norepinephrine in the etiology and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Amplification of the stress system disrupts cellular and molecular processes at the synapse, promoting the production and secretion of amyloid beta 42 peptides, and numerous studies indicate that norepinephrine can exert profound effects on the production and clearance of amyloid beta 42 peptides. Thus, the dysregulation of norepinephrine under conditions of chronic stress, psychiatric disease, or degeneration of the locus coeruleus may directly contribute to an aberrant increase in Amyloid beta 42 peptides, suggesting that targeting the norepinephrine system may be a novel approach to modulate Amyloid beta 42 levels in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease to slow or halt the progression of disease.
Effects of Medicinal Marijuana on Clinical Assessments of Pain, Anxiety, and/or Spasticity
This clinical study primarily aims to quantify the effects of medicinal marijuana in the treatment of patient populations that experience chronic pain, anxiety, and/or spasticity. The purpose of this clinical research is twofold. Broadly, the study is designed to fill a critical gap in the relationship between medical doctors that prescribe medicinal marijuana and their patients with qualifying medical conditions. To accomplish this goal, we have designed a hypothesis-driven study that will utilize clinical assessments to collect quantitative data on the efficacy of medicinal marijuana for the treatment of stress-related disorders. Importantly, our analysis will stratify study participants based on their symptoms, preferred marijuana strain, and medical history to inform prescribing doctors of optimal treatment strategies for a diverse patient population to improve treatment outcomes.