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Marijuana Can Improve Rigidity In Parkinson’s
TruthOnPot.com – A chemical in marijuana appears to reverse one of the hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to the latest research from Brazil. The findings will appear in the October issue of Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.
In the new study, researchers at the University of San Paulo tested the ability of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat muscle rigidity. The treatment was successful in various models of rigidity – including rats with a Parkinson’s-like reduction in dopamine. What’s more, using higher doses of CBD seemed to increase its effectiveness.
In light of such positive findings, the scientists are urging for human studies to be conducted.
“Further clinical studies, with larger samples and more doses of CBD are clearly needed to evaluate possible therapeutic properties of CBD in Parkinson’s disease.”
A loss of dopamine cells is the underlying cause of Parkinson’s as well as many of its symptoms – including rigidity (or muscle “freezing”).
While the latest study suggests that CBD can counter this symptom, the authors note that it may even be able to slow progression of the disease itself – by protecting dopamine neurons from further damage.
“…CBD could also provide neuroprotection against the progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons.”
Although some patients prefer CBD because it doesn’t get them high, marijuana in its natural form seems to work just as well.
Earlier this year, researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel reported findings from the first clinical trial of marijuana in Parkinson’s disease. All 20 patients in the study showed measurable improvements after smoking cannabis, including a reduction in tremor and rigidity.
Dr. Ruth Djaldetti, lead researcher of the Israeli study, told Medpage Today that she would recommend marijuana to patients – but only if traditional drugs were tried first.
The study was funded by grants from FAPESP and CNPq