The increase in lifespan during the last 50 years, mainly in developed countries, has originated a progressive elevation in the incidence of chronic neurodegenerative disorders, for which aging is the key risk factor. This fact will definitively become the major biomedical challenge during the present century, in part because the expectation of a persisting elevation in the population older than 65 years over the whole population and, on the other hand, because the current lack of efficacious therapies to control these disorders despite years of intense research. This chapter will address this question and will stress the urgency of developing better neuroprotective and neurorepair strategies that may delay/arrest the progression of these disorders, reviewing the major needs to solve the causes proposed for the permanent failures experienced in recent years, e.g., to develop multitarget strategies, to use more predictive experimental models, and to identify early disease biomarkers. This chapter will propose the cannabinoids and their classic (e.g., endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes) and nonclassic (e.g., peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, transcription factors) targets as a useful strategy for developing novel therapies for these disorders, based on their broad-spectrum neuroprotective profile, their activity as an endogenous protective system, the location of the endocannabinoid targets in cell substrates critical for neuronal survival, and their ability to serve for preservation and rescue, but also for repair and/or replacement, of neurons and glial cells against cytotoxic insults.
© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cannabinoids; Chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorders; Endocannabinoids; Neurodegeneration; Neuroprotection; Neurorepair
- PMID: 28750802
- DOI: 10.1016/bs.mie.2017.06.021