Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) treatment for motor and non-motor symptoms of parkinson disease: An open-label observational study

Itay Lotan, Therese A. Treves, Yaniv Roditi, Ruth Djaldetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The use of cannabis as a therapeutic agent for various medical conditions has been well documented. However, clinical trials in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) have yielded conflicting results. The aim of the present open-label observational study was to assess the clinical effect of cannabis on motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. METHODS: Twenty-two patients with PD attending the motor disorder clinic of a tertiary medical center in 2011 to 2012 were evaluated at baseline and 30 minutes after smoking cannabis using the following battery: Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale, visual analog scale, present pain intensity scale, Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, as well as Medical Cannabis Survey National Drug and Alcohol Research Center Questionnaire. RESULTS: Mean (SD) total score on the motor Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale score improved significantly from 33.1 (13.8) at baseline to 23.2 (10.5) after cannabis consumption (t = 5.9; P < 0.001). Analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremor (P < 0.001), rigidity (P = 0.004), and bradykinesia (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed. The study suggests that cannabis might have a place in the therapeutic armamentarium of PD. Larger, controlled studies are needed to verify the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Pain
  • Parkinson disease
  • Δ 9-THC

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