For those of you who are curious about marijuana and its affects, they've done some research on cannabinoid and THC extracts for MS patients with spasticity. These studies actually show an improvement in spasticity. This is the first study I've heard of that actually shows improvement - until now, it's all been hearsay.
This is a competitor's news story, but I've used tinyurl to shorten the url and with any luck, it won't be censored.
They recently released a study that examined 6 studies which were done to evaluate the effects of these extracts on MS. And what you report is what they found. Previously, the testimonial reports of MJ have long reported an easing of pain and spasticity from its use. Prior studies have found that 1) it helps, 2) it doesn't help and 3) that it worsens.
The differences in the results, in my mind, have to do with the preparation of the extracts, what end-outcome is looked at and the oppressive political atmosphere that is bent on denying that anything associated to marijuana could "ever" be useful.
There has been some recent reports of further brain damage and of an increase in dizziness with THC. What is rarely looked at is the risk/benefit. Given a disease like this that can destroy all quality of life in some and leave them in intractable pain from spasm and spasticity, might some people opt for more dizziness or an increase in cognitive slowing? With the amount of cog fog we have anyway, a small increase might be an acceptable trade-off.
This kind of discussion is what brought Tysabri back to the market ofter it had been yanked for the cases of PML. The MS community, physicians and patients, felt that the documented improvement possible with the drug was worth it's possible side effects. This community demanded the "choice" given that what we had was a poor substitute.
The rabid anti-drug, or anti-anything that might be related to an illegal drug, fervor has deeply hindered this research and this discussion. I find this hypocritical in a society where cigarettes and alcohol are quite legal and far more deadly. I hope the discussion can continue and also look for a form of the drug that does not induce a "high", or have other delerious effects on the brain, but that still can help those of us that need it.
THC may cause dizziness, But that is a side effect of a lot of the meds we now take anyhow.
And......The trade off of Marijuana (THC) is the THC might cause possible cog fog (which again we have anyway) vs the DMD's, that have a direct definate affect on the liver and the kidneys as does some of the oral RX that we are prescribed.
It's six of one or half dozen of the other. There will always be contraversy on this topic!
I personally, if it were legal in my state, would rather ingest (not necessarily smoking, perhaps in a tea) the benefits of the Marijuana than take all these meds I am on now. Knowing that my RX and DMD may be helping one thing....but harming something else (kidney's, Liver) in my body is a bit of a concern.
As far as producing a "High", Well some folks are on several pain meds, benzo's, Valium, muscle relaxers, and whatever else. And lets face it...........truth be told .....these do cause a "high" in people. So, if it can be legalized and one of the side affects be a bit "high" then my liver and kidney's say "Yippee". Besides the dose could always be adjusted so your not walking around like a stoner :)
Oh Sorry Lulu,
I thought you were referring to this article on cannabinoids and it actually SLOWING the entire progress of MS not just treating spasticity. Here is that article.....Research begins this summer.
Chemical in Marijuana to Slow Multiple Sclerosis?
Tuesday May 19, 2009
The NIH has granted Temple University researchers $1.5 million to test a laboratory-made version of cannabinoids for slowing the progress of multiple sclerosis. Cannabinoids are found in nature in the marijuana plant. Researchers believe that this class of chemicals can create immune suppression, which just might help in multiple sclerosis.
Much like steroids (but with fewer side effects and much more selectively), cannabinoids can "switch off" a portion of the immune response and bring down inflammation and "hyperactivity" of immune cells, possibly preventing (or slowing) some of the damage caused to the myelin by immune cells. It does this by interacting with the receptors on specific immune cells.
Temple researchers have synthesized a compound that has this calming effect on the immune system without any of the psychoactive effects that are associated with marijuana. This four-year research project begins this summer. If successful, this could be a lovely addition to potential MS treatments
There is lots of THC research going on - I have friends who live in the same area as a major pharmaceutical greenhouse in England. I had not heard about the Temple study - that will be another one to watch. Thanks for the updated info.
I recently started to smoke pot agin because of folks telling me it might help. And it did for a few months.But it started to make my eye issues and headaches worse after a while. So I have not smoked any for about a week. I am having trouble sleeping but it seems that other things have gotten better since I stopped smoking it.
I know that with it I can eat and sleep and without it I can not. As for spasticity, I would like to see a pill form that would replace all these muscle relaxers.
I think pot kept my from figuring out I had MS years ago but my spasticity has increased greatly in the last year since my dx so maybe there is a tolerance problem there.
My opinion is if it helps i would be more then willing to start to smoke again if that meant lowering down my pills i have to take now. And also the weed you get from a dealer is absolutly different then the weed you get from a doctor or store in cali lol They can give you the proper weed that only helps with your certain issues. I was just watching a show on that on tv
I'm just glad to see that there's new real research out there, because I've been saying for years that marijuana is beneficial. But without positive proof - and of course the onus of possible cognitive problems with MJ - I didn't have a leg to stand on.
I'm still dubious about the results of the study on cognitive decline and marijuana use. I think that cognitive problems are much more common than people realize, and so any study that focuses on cognitive problems and MS should start with a thorough psych exam before and after.
Like Zacksmomi, I have smoked for many years. I don't think it's a coincidence that I had my first bad flare about three weeks after I had run out.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.