A review by the American Academy of Neurology of available scientific research on the use of medical marijuana in brain diseases finds certain forms of medical marijuana can help treat some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), but do not appear to be helpful in treating drug-induced (levodopa) movements in Parkinson’s disease.
Not enough evidence was found to show if medical marijuana is helpful in treating motor problems in Huntington’s disease, tics in Tourette syndrome, cervical dystonia and seizures in epilepsy. The review is published in the April 29, 2014, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and will be presented at the AAN Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014, which is the world’s largest gathering of neurologists.
“This review by the world’s largest association for neurologists is intended to help neurologists and their patients understand the current research on medical marijuana for the treatment of certain brain diseases,” said review author Barbara S. Koppel, MD, of New York Medical College in New York and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “The AAN review also highlights the need for more high-quality studies of the long-term efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in the treatment of neurologic diseases.”
The AAN review concluded that certain forms of medical marijuana (only in pill or oral spray form) can help treat some symptoms of MS. These include spasticity, certain types of pain (pain related to spasticity, including painful spasms, and painful burning and numbness), and overactive bladder.
Most of the MS studies examined pill or oral spray forms of medical marijuana. There were two studies that examined smoked medical marijuana for treating MS symptoms. However, the studies did not provide enough information to show if smoked medical marijuana is effective. “It’s important to note that medical marijuana can worsen thinking and memory problems, and this is a concern since many people with MS suffer from these problems already due to the disease itself,” said Koppel.
For Parkinson’s disease, the AAN review concluded that medical marijuana in the form of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pills likely does not help relieve abnormal movements that can develop in the late stages of the disease from the drug levodopa, which is the main drug used to treat shaking, stiffness and slowness of movements.
The AAN review also concluded that there is not enough information to show if medical marijuana, including smoked medical marijuana, is safe or effective in these neurologic diseases:
There are safety concerns with medical marijuana use. Side effects reported in at least two studies were nausea, increased weakness, behavioral or mood changes, suicidal thoughts or hallucinations, dizziness or fainting symptoms, fatigue, and feelings of intoxication. There was one report of a seizure.
Mood changes and suicidal thoughts are of special concern for people with MS, who are at an increased risk for depression or suicide. The studies showed the risk of serious psychological effects is about 1 percent, or one in every 100 people.
In general, medical marijuana is prescribed as a treatment for use only when standard treatment has not helped.
The review is endorsed by the American Autonomic Society, the American Epilepsy Society and the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
To learn more about brain health, please visit www.aan.com/patients.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 27,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
Dr. Koppel will present her findings at a press conference at 10:00 a.m. ET, on Monday, April 28, 2014, in the AAN Press Conference Room, 103C of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. To obtain press conference call-in information, please contact Rachel Seroka, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Koppel is available for advance interviews as well. Please contact Rachel Seroka, email@example.com, to schedule an advance interview.Rachel L. Seroka Manager, Media and Public Relations American Academy of Neurology 201 Chicago Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55415 Ph: 612-928-6129 Mobile: 612-807-6968 Fax: 612-454-2744 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine