Alzheimer’s patients in Puerto Rico may get cannabis-based treatment that would make them the first in the United States with access to a new cannabinoid medicine. The development could be a big step for Puerto Rican Alzheimer’s patients in particular and for medical marijuana more generally.
Hyalolex In Puerto Rico
According to a recent press release, medical marijuana dispensaries in Puerto Rico will start carrying a product called Hyalolex as soon as April. The product is a cannabinoid-based medicine aimed at helping patients cope with the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Hyalolex is manufactured by cannabis pharmaceutical company IGC. The company’s new product will hit dispensaries in Puerto Rico as part of a larger deal between IGC and DaMa Pharmaceuticals.
Under the arrangement, DaMa will play a part in manufacturing Hyalolex in Puerto Rico. From there, the companies will market Hyalolex to the 30 or so dispensaries currently operating in Puerto Rico. The product will also be marketed directly to consumers.
“We are very pleased to work with the DaMa Pharmaceutical team to bring Hyalolex to Puerto Rico, which has a long history of developing premier pharmaceutical products,” said Ram Mukunda, CEO of IGC. “We are proud to be a contributor to Puerto Rico’s economic development and to the well being of its Alzheimer’s patients.”
Hyalolex is a liquid form of medicinal cannabis. More specifically, it was designed to reduce the buildup of certain compounds in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
Cannabis and Alzheimer’s
Hyalolex aside, cannabis has shown great promise at helping those with Alzheimer’s. In a groundbreaking 2006 study, researchers found that THC could have positive effects on those living with Alzheimer’s. In particular, this project found that THC could slow the formation of the plaque that typically accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
That initial finding has set the tone for several other studies. Most recently, scientists published a paper last year that looked at the impact of small THC doses on Alzheimer’s patients. This study found that THC can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain.
In a healthy brain, those proteins are naturally broken down. But when a person develops Alzheimer’s, those same proteins build up to create clusters of plaque. Researchers believe that these plaque build-ups play a key role in the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Fortunately, cannabinoids such as THC appear to slow this process. In particular, cannabis can help take over the task of breaking apart those beta-amyloid proteins, thereby contributing to better brain health.
Final Hit: Alzheimer’s Patients in Puerto Rico May Get Cannabis-Based Treatment
Puerto Rico already has a relatively strong medical marijuana program. There are reportedly 30 dispensaries already operating on the island. In particular, the capital city of San Juan boasts a couple well-established dispensaries.
Medical marijuana patients with Alzheimer’s are about to have access to another potentially powerful form of treatment. As research indicates, cannabis continues showing promise as a powerful way to decrease the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease.