The endocannabinoid system in the inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes of multiple sclerosis and of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Exp Neurol. 2010 Jul ;224(1):92-102. Epub 2010 Mar 29. PMID: 20353778
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are chronic diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), featured by a complex interplay between inflammation and neurodegeneration. Increasing evidence supports the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in both inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes typical of these pathological conditions. Exogenous or endogenous cannabinoids regulate the function of immune system by limiting immune response. On the other hand, by preventing excitotoxic damage, cannabinoids protect neuronal integrity and function. Of note, the ECS not only plays a role as modulator of disease processes, but it can also be disrupted by the same diseases. Agents modulating cannabinoid receptors or endocannabinoid tone provide promising therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS.