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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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