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, email@example.com.
Dr. Koppel is available for advance interviews as well. Please contact Rachel Seroka, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering