As Marijuana is being considered as an adjuvant in the treatment of several neurological diseases to relieve the spasticity, tremors and insomnia, there is still disagreement as to whether it is indeed helpful in Multiple Sclerosis. In contrast to the advanced age of most patients with Parkinson’s disease, MS usually starts in earlier stages of life with crippling personal consequences. Some scientific studies have attempted to solve the clinical controversies.
In one study participants with a stable stage of their MS were divided into two groups of 144 people that received a Cannabis extract and another one of 135 people who received a placebo before and after three months of treatment, their perception of changes in their muscle tone was recorded. The muscular hypertonicity improved two fold in the group taking cannabis; the most frequent adverse events were urinary tract infections and dizziness.
In a 2011 European clinical study Naxibimols—an oral spray derived from Cannabis—were used to improve the spasticity of MS patients with good results that heralded its approval for use in many countries, except the USA.
In 2005 630 patients with stable stage of MS from 33 specialized centres in the United Kingdom were randomly assigned to receive THC or a placebo for fifteen weeks. Patients receiving marijuana reported improvements in pain and spasticity, which could not be confirmed by standardized testing.
Oral dosage of Dronabidol—a synthetic Cannabis derivative—was used to treat a particularly aggressive type of MS: the progressive-relapsing form; the drug did not have a significant clinical effect on progression of the MS.
In 2014 the American Academy of Neurology released a report on Cannabis use in neurological disorders, which stated that the use of oral cannabis extract and synthetic THC might be effective in the treatment of spasticity. The use of the oral spray Sativex might be helpful in the treatment of spasticity, pain and urinary frequency, with dizziness as a collateral effect.
As many more states approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes in the USA, other properly designed clinical studies will be implemented.
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