Parkinson’s Disease and the Potential of Cannabis Therapy

Parkinson Disease (PD) is a nervous system progressive disorder that affects movement. Its development is gradual, and sometimes it begins with a tremor in one hand that is barely noticeable. PD occurs when vital nerve cells in the brain malfunction and die. Since some of these neurons are responsible for the production of dopamine, their malfunctioning and death means movement and coordination are affected. The progress of PD leads to a reduction in the dopamine produced in the brain and the ability of the person to control movement deteriorates as result. In the US, about one million people are living with the disease (PDF). With no cure present at the moment, there is hope in the potential of cannabis therapy.

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Various research studies have demonstrated that there is hope in cannabis therapy in treating PD. According to Baker, Pryce and Giovannoni, although cannabinoids use in current clinical practice focuses on the management of symptoms, there may be benefits in the slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative disorders (296). Another study by Lotan, Treves, and Roditi found that cannabis treatment significantly improve sleep and reduce related pain (41). It is the conclusion of the authors that cannabis may be used in the PD treatment (41). The disease symptoms improved when cannabis is consumed. There were reduced rigidity and tremors as a result of the consumption of cannabis by the PD patients. In addition, there were no adverse effects for the PD patients as result of Cannabis consumption (Lotan, Treves and Roditi 41). They note that there is a need for larger studies to be conducted in order to verify the results. It is evident that there is cannabis therapy potential in the treatment of PD.

 

Works Cited

Baker, David, et al. “The therapeutic potential of cannabis.” The Lancet Neurology 2.5 (2003): 291-298.

Lotan, Itay, et al. “Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) Treatment for Motor and Non–Motor Symptoms of Parkinson Disease: An Open-Label Observational Study.” Clinical neuropharmacology (2014): 41-44.

PDF. What is Parkinson’s Disease? n.d. 25 April 2017 <http://www.pdf.org/about_pd>.