Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Synthetic marijuana reduces agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s

17.11.2003


Reduction of agitation leads to less stress for caregiver; better care for patient



Results from a Phase II, multi-center study found dronabinol, a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana, reduces agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the research concluded that reduced agitation may contribute to the relief of caregiver burden associated with the condition. The findings were presented at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists’ 34th annual meeting.

"Our results show dronabinol is an effective treatment for behavioral agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s and may ultimately help reduce the stress often experienced by caregivers," said geriatrician Joel S. Ross, M.D. a member of the teaching faculty at Monmouth Medical Center and the lead investigator in the study. "While difficult for the patient, the effects of agitation can greatly impact the emotional and physical health of family members and caregivers. By reducing patients’ agitation, caregivers are able to focus more time and energy on their patients’ overall wellbeing."


Dronabinol, marketed as Marinol, is synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC). Delta-9-THC also is a naturally occurring component of Cannabis sativa L (marijuana). Dronabinol has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of anorexia in patients with HIV/AIDS and for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Recent clinical tests also have examined dronabinol’s potential to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis.1

Agitation is the most common behavioral management problem in patients with Alzheimer’s and affects an estimated 75 percent of people with the disease. It may lead to a variety of symptoms ranging from physical and/or verbal abusive postures, physically non-aggressive conduct including pacing and restlessness, as well as verbally disturbed behaviors such as screaming and repetitive requests for attention.

More than 80 percent of caregivers report they frequently experience high levels of stress, and nearly half say they suffer from depression, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Phase II, open label, randomized, parallel-group study involved 54 community-dwelling patients at two sites, all who demonstrated behavioral agitation (mean age = 81). All patients were over the age of 50 years and met DSM-IV criteria for dementia related to Alzheimer’s. The Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) were used to measure severity of Alzheimer’s disease and agitation level, respectively. Following a one-week qualifying period to evaluate the degree of agitation, patients were screened on Day 0, evenly randomized to one of two treatment groups (dronabinol 2.5 mg bid or dronabinol 5 mg bid) on Day 7, and returned for clinic visits on Day 21, Day 35 and Day 63. The primary efficacy measurement was the CMAI, a 38-item rating scale that evaluates the prevalence of pathological and disruptive behaviors. The secondary efficacy measurements were the Caregiver’s Burden Inventory (CBI), CGI Severity of Alzheimer’s disease (CGI-S AD), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL) and MMSE. Evaluation at nine weeks found significant reductions of CMAI scores in both groups. There also was a trend toward a decrease in CBI scores and increase in IADL scores in both groups, without a statistical difference between the two doses. The 5 mg bid group experienced a trend toward a decrease in CGI-S AD scores.

Doses could be adjusted during the study, allowing for a patient to receive both doses of the medication and be included in both groups at the time of evaluation for efficacy and adverse events. Adverse events experienced by more the five percent of patients involved in the study included abnormal gait, accidental injury, agitation, anxiety, asthenia, dizziness, somnolence, spontaneous bone fracture and vomiting. Two deaths occurred in the patient population, but investigators determined both were unrelated to the medication.

Monmouth Medical Center, an affiliate of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, is a 527-bed community teaching hospital located in Long Branch, NJ. For two decades, Monmouth Medical Center’s geriatric program has been a recognized leader in the development of unique health care services for seniors. In 1982, a multidisciplinary geriatric team was established in response to the growing needs of older adults. Today, the Greenwall Geriatric Program at Monmouth coordinates health and social services for the elderly and their families in a community-teaching-hospital environment.


1Zajicek, J. The Lancet, Nov. 8, 2003: vol 263;pp 1517-1526.

Kathleen Horan | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>