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The endocannabinoids: Functional roles and therapeutic opportunities
Date:10/14/2007

eptors or possibly also by antagonists to the CB1 receptors may have therapeutic potential. The endocannabinoid system generally is involved in the protective reaction of the mammalian body to a long list of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Thus, there is hope for novel therapeutic opportunities.

Numerous additional endocannabinoids especially various fatty acid ethanolamides and glycerol esters are known today and regarded as members of a large endocannabinoid family. Endogenous cannabinoids, the cannabinoid receptors and various enzymes that are involved in their syntheses and degradations comprise the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system acts as a guardian against various attacks on the mammalian body.

Conclusion

The above described research concerning the endocannabinoid-system is of importance in both basic science and in therapeutics:

  • The discovery of the cannabis plant active constituent has helped advance our understanding of cannabis use and its effects.

  • The discovery of the endocannabinoids has been of central importance in establishing the existence of a new biochemical system and its physiological roles in particular in neuroprotection.

  • These discoveries have opened the door for the development of novel types of drugs, such as THC for the treatment of nausea and for enhancing appetite in cachectic patients.

  • The endocannabinoid system is involved in the protective reaction of the mammalian body to a long list of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease which raises hope for novel therapeutic opportunities for these diseases.


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Contact: Professor Raphael Mechoulam
mechou@cc.huji.ac.il
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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