Could marijuana help treat Alzheimer's disease? staff via KABC logo
Thursday, June 30, 2016
An undated file photo of marijuana in jars.
An undated file photo of marijuana in jars.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KABC) -- Researchers said Thursday marijuana may help treat Alzheimer's disease after discovering a new connection with an active ingredient.

Researchers at the The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla said the connection has to do with THC, which is found in marijuana.

They said they are finding evidence THC helps remove the toxic proteins that build up in the brain, leading to plaque which then kills nerve cells.

Researchers also found that THC helps nerve cells to survive.

Five million Americans suffer with Alzheimer's disease, and it is a number that is expected to grow substantially as baby boomers move into what were supposed to be their golden years.