Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia in the elderly, characterized by neuropsychiatric symptoms related to neuroanatomical and biochemical changes in the cerebral cortex. Drug treatment has little efficacy in more advanced stages of the disease, which leads to the search for adjunctive resources. The endocannabinoid system has gained great scientific prominence as a therapeutic target in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, its components being highly associated with the pathophysiology of the disease. The aim of this literature update study was to search for scientific evidence on the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The SciELO, PubMed/ Medline, and Cochrane Library databases were searched using the following keywords: “Cannabis sativa”; “cannabidiol”; “endocannabinoid system”; “cannabinoid”; “Alzheimer’s disease”. A total of 87 articles were considered, including literature reviews, experimental studies, and randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system showed high therapeutic potential, as it was able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing neuroinflammation, β-amyloid protein accumulation, and hyperphosphorylation of tau protein. The neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids promote neurogenesis, attenuate neuropsychiatric symptoms, and improve memory, behavior, and learning.

About the author : Reinaldo Souza

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