Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Active ingredient of cannabis has no effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis, study suggests

Date:
June 15, 2012
Source:
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Summary:
The first large non-commercial study to investigate whether the main active constituent of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is effective in slowing the course of progressive multiple sclerosis shows that there is no evidence to suggest this; Although benefits were noted for those at the lower end of the disability scale.

The first large non-commercial study to investigate whether the main active constituent of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is effective in slowing the course of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) shows that there is no evidence to suggest this; although benefits were noted for those at the lower end of the disability scale.

The CUPID (Cannabinoid Use in Progressive Inflammatory brain Disease) study was carried out by researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), Plymouth University. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and managed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) on behalf of the MRC-NIHR partnership, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

The preliminary results of CUPID are to be presented by lead researcher Professor John Zajicek at the Association of British Neurologists' Annual Meeting in Brighton on May 29th.

CUPID enrolled nearly 500 people with MS from 27 centres around the UK, and has taken eight years to complete. People with progressive MS were randomised to receive either THC capsules or identical placebo capsules for three years, and were carefully followed to see how their MS changed over this period. The two main outcomes of the trial were a disability scale administered by neurologists (the Expanded Disability Status Scale), and a patient report scale of the impact of MS on people with the condition (the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale 29).

Overall the study found no evidence to support an effect of THC on MS progression in either of the main outcomes. However, there was some evidence to suggest a beneficial effect in participants who were at the lower end of the disability scale at the time of enrollment but, as the benefit was only found in a small group of people rather than the whole population, further studies will be needed to assess the robustness of this finding. One of the other findings of the trial was that MS in the study population as a whole progressed slowly, more slowly than expected. This makes it more challenging to find a treatment effect when the aim of the treatment is that of slow progression.

As well as evaluating the potential neuroprotective effects and safety of THC over the long-term, one of the aims of the CUPID study was to improve the way that clinical trial research is done by exploring newer methods of measuring MS and using the latest statistical methods to make the most of every piece of information collected. This analysis will continue for several months. The CUPID study will therefore provide important information about conducting further large scale clinical trials in MS.

Professor John Zajicek, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at PCMD, Plymouth University, said: "To put this study into context: current treatments for MS are limited, either being targeted at the immune system in the early stages of the disease or aimed at easing specific symptoms such as muscle spasms, fatigue or bladder problems. At present there is no treatment available to slow MS when it becomes progressive. Progression of MS is thought to be due to death of nerve cells, and researchers around the world are desperately searching for treatments that may be 'neuroprotective'. Laboratory experiments have suggested that certain cannabis derivatives may be neuroprotective."

He added: "Overall our research has not supported laboratory based findings and shown that, although there is a suggestion of benefit to those at the lower end of the disability scale when they joined CUPID, there is little evidence to suggest that THC has a long term impact on the slowing of progressive MS."

Dr Doug Brown, Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Society, said: "There are currently no treatments for people with progressive MS to slow or stop the worsening of disability. The MS Society is committed to supporting research in this area and this was an important study for us to fund. While this study sadly suggests THC is ineffective at slowing the course of progressive MS, we will not stop our search for effective treatments. We are encouraged by the possibility shown by this study that THC may have potential benefits for some people with MS and we welcome further investigation in this area."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Active ingredient of cannabis has no effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615103937.htm>.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. (2012, June 15). Active ingredient of cannabis has no effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615103937.htm
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Active ingredient of cannabis has no effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615103937.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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