Cannabinoids Show Long-Term Benefits For MS Patients, Study Says
November 22, 2005 - Plymouth, United Kingdom
Plymouth, United Kingdom: Long-term administration of oral THC and/or natural cannabis extracts reduces MS-associated pain and improves mobility compared to placebo, according to clinical trial data to be published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
The findings are based on the results of a 52-week follow-up trial of more than 500 multiple sclerosis patients. Results of the initial fifteen-week, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, appeared in the British medical journal The Lancet in 2003.
Although investigators only found evidence of a "small treatment effect" in the control of patients' spasticity, they noted that subjects achieved greater symptomatic relief in other areas - including pain relief, sleep quality, and mobility - the longer they used cannabinoids. These results "suggest [a] wider symptomatic benefit with time," researchers concluded.
British researchers are expected to begin recruiting patients this spring to participate in a three-year clinical trial to further investigate whether the long-term use of cannabinoids alters the progression of MS.
Previous studies investigating the impact of cannabinoids on animal models of MS, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) have found that the compounds inhibited the diseases' progression.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis study: safety and efficacy data for 12 months follow up," will appear in the December issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
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Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.