Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoked cannabis reduces some symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Date:
May 14, 2012
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
A clinical study of 30 adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown that smoked cannabis may be an effective treatment for spasticity – a common and disabling symptom of this neurological disease.

A clinical study of 30 adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has shown that smoked cannabis may be an effective treatment for spasticity -- a common and disabling symptom of this neurological disease.

The placebo-controlled trial also resulted in reduced perception of pain, although participants also reported short-term, adverse cognitive effects and increased fatigue. The study will be published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on May 14.

Principal investigator Jody Corey-Bloom, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UC San Diego, and colleagues randomly assigned participants to either the intervention group (which smoked cannabis once daily for three days) or the control group (which smoked identical placebo cigarettes, also once a day for three days). After an 11-day interval, the participants crossed over to the other group.

"We found that smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing symptoms and pain in patients with treatment-resistant spasticity, or excessive muscle contractions," said Corey-Bloom.

Earlier reports suggested that the active compounds of medical marijuana were potentially effective in treating neurologic conditions, but most studies focused on orally administered cannabinoids. There were also anecdotal reports of MS patients that endorsed smoking marijuana to relieve symptoms of spasticity.

However, this trial used a more objective measurement, a modified Ashford scale which graded the intensity of muscle tone by measuring such things as resistance in range of motion and rigidity. The secondary outcome, pain, was measured using a visual analogue scale. The researchers also looked at physical performance (using a timed walk) and cognitive function and -- at the end of each visit -- asked patients to assess their feeling of "highness."

Although generally well tolerated, smoking cannabis did have mild effects on attention and concentration. The researchers noted that larger, long-terms studies are needed to confirm their findings and determine whether lower doses can result in beneficial effects with less cognitive impact.

The current study is the fifth clinical test of the possible efficacy of cannabis for clinical use reported by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). Four other human studies on control of neuropathic pain also reported positive results.

"The study by Corey Bloom and her colleagues adds to a growing body of evidence that cannabis has therapeutic value for selected indications, and may be an adjunct or alternative for patients whose spasticity or pain is not optimally managed," said Igor Grant, MD, director of the CMCR, which provided funding for the study.

Additional contributors include Tanya Wolfson, Anthony Gamst, PhD, Shelia Jin, MD, MPH, Thomas D. Marcotte, PhD, Heather Bentley and Ben Gouaux, all from UC San Diego School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jody Corey-Bloom, Tanya Wolfson, Anthony Gamst, Shelia Jin, Thomas D. Marcotte, Heather Bentley, and Ben Gouaux. Smoked cannabis for spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ, May 14, 2012 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.110837

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Smoked cannabis reduces some symptoms of multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514122607.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2012, May 14). Smoked cannabis reduces some symptoms of multiple sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514122607.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Smoked cannabis reduces some symptoms of multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514122607.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins