Friday, October 06, 2006

Marijuana may help stave off Alzheimer’s

Active ingredient in pot may help preserve brain function

Updated: MSNBC - 4:31 p.m. ET Oct 5, 2006

WASHINGTON - Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana’s active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be hereditary.

Marijuana is used to relieve glaucoma and can help reduce side effects from cancer and AIDS treatment.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Prince Charles, Government of Jamaica to Fund Trench Town Housing

published: Daily Gleaner - Monday | October 2, 2006

The Prince of Wales, in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, is set to unveil a massive housing development plan for Trench Town, a British newspaper reported yesterday.

According to the Sunday Times, Prince Charles through his architectural charity, The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, has drawn up plans to redevelop the community by replacing concrete high-rise buildings with traditional lime-washed single-storey houses surrounded by palm trees.

According to the foundation's website, this charity was established to teach and demonstrate in practice those principles of traditional urban design and architecture which put people and the communities of which they are a part, at the centre of the design process.

The report said 3,000 people are to benefit from the redevelopment. The plans are to be unveiled by his representatives here this month.

Construction of the first street could begin as soon as December. The foundation, according to the report, will fund a row of 20 homes, at a cost of £250,000 or approximately J$30.2 million. The Government is expected to provide an initial £2.5 million or J$307.5 million to fund the entire project.

Development is set to take place near reggae icon Bob Marley's old home, Culture Yard, in the community.

The Gleaner made efforts to contact Member of Parliament for the community, Dr. Omar Davies, and the Minister of Information and Development, Colin Campbell, for further details on the project, but was unsuccessful.

This is the second such project geared at redeveloping the often-neglected Kingston community. Residents are currently benefiting from the National Housing Trust's Inner-city Housing Project. Recently, 252 units were handed over to residents of the community by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Several of Jamaica's reggae superstars, including the legendary Marley, grew up in Trench Town. The community, however, has been plagued by political and gang violence, poverty and high levels of unemployment for several years.

Construction of the first street could begin as soon as December. The foundation, according to the report, will fund a row of 20 homes, at a cost of £250,000 or approximately J$30.20 million.