Saturday, July 08, 2006

Cannabis effects on MS trialled

BBC News

Patients are being recruited for a trial to determine whether chemicals in cannabis can slow the impact of multiple sclerosis.

Evidence suggests the drug may relieve symptoms but the three-year national trial is also to determine whether it slows the disease's progress.

It is estimated that 85,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis (MS).

Prof John Zajicek, of the Peninsula Medical School and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, will lead the research.

Far-reaching implications

One component of cannabis, called THC, is now being tested in a trial, funded by a £2m grant from the Medical Research Council, along with charities the MS Society and MS Trust.

"This trial will build on our previous study which, coupled with our work in the laboratory, suggested that THC could have a protective effect on nerves," said Prof Zajicek.

"Multiple Sclerosis is a very unpredictable disease. Currently there are few medicines which are effective in treating MS and none have been shown to have any effect in the progressive stages of the disease."

MS is caused when the patient's own body damages the protective covering of the nerves - affecting signals from the brain.

Progressive MS is thought to be caused by damage to the nerves themselves.

"If this study demonstrates that cannaboids do have a longer term effect on the progression of disability, there are potentially far-reaching implications, not only for the health of people with MS, but also for those with other neurodegenerative conditions."

Prof Zajicek is trying to recruit 500 patients with progressive MS through 30 centres across the UK.

The research follows on from a previous trial carried out by the same team, which focused on testing the benefit of cannabis derivatives over a 15-week and 12-month period.

Derivatives of cannabis are known as cannabinoids.

The study is taking place in collaboration with Professor Alan Thompson at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (part of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and Institute of Neurology, University College London.


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3/07/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris, said...

It will be interesting to see how they administer the cannabis to patients. The Lung Foundation's research showed that a single deeply inhaled joint does as much lung tissue damage as an entire packet of cigarettes.

If this research shows medicinal value in cannabis use for MS patients, research for the safest delivery method will be needed. Perhaps oral administration will be viable.

10/15/2007 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the British Lung Foundation's study, their most frequently cited expert, Donald Tashkin, has concluded that even heavy cannabis smoking does not impair lung function.... of course, you'd have to look in the footnotes to find that information

There are other studies that the BLF simply overlooked that show that cannabis smokers do not have serious health problems.

.... oh and by the way... fuck drug testing, chris... it's violating and silly

4/30/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger pedro velasquez said...

There is only limited evidence mainly sportsbook from anecdotal reports that cannabis (smoked or oral) benefits spasticity from multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Some randomised N of 1 studies support this. The weight of evidence is not great, and more recent, bet nfl though small, randomised trials show absolutely no effect, with some adverse effects. Cannabis is commonly thought to be beneficial to patients with multiple sclerosis, especially those with spasticity. There are no modern randomised double-blind trials of any size, though there is one currently ongoing, whose design and objectives can be seen on the Internet.

10/01/2010 08:41:00 AM  
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