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Endocannabinoids and Neuroprotection

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes the accumulation of harmful endogenous constituents in the brain, which may lead to secondary damage; protective mechanisms are also set in motion. Understanding the pathophysiology of secondary brain injury might lead to the development of novel therapeutic treatments for this common condition. The synthesis in the brain of the endogenous cannabinoids 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide is enhanced in mice and rats, respectively, after TBI and reduces brain damage. These compounds represent a new class of neuroprotective agents that have multiple mechanisms of action that may involve inhibition of transmitter release and of the inflammatory response and might improve the blood supply to the injured brain.

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Resource Type: Diagram, Illustration, Image, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: R. Mechoulam of Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, Hebrew University, M. Spatz of Stroke Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, E. Shohami of Department of Pharmacology, Hebrew University
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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