Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a particularly nasty progressive condition – one that damages the brain over a period of many years. Symptoms include involuntary shaking of body parts (tremors), slow movement, stiff and inflexible muscles, balance issues, sleeping problems, memory problems and a loss of smell (anosmis).

Parkinson’s Disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called substantia nigra, which leads to a reduction of dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body, which is why the dopamine precursor levodopa (L-DOPA) is used as a treatment for PD. The precise cause of Parkinson’s Disease is unknown, but it is thought that genetic and environmental factors are at play. Head trauma through impact sports may also have an effect.

As of 2015, PD affected 6.2 million and resulted in the deaths of 117,400 people globally. Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali are perhaps some of the most well-known Parkinson’s sufferers. In the US, there are around 1 million sufferers, and approximately 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s are diagnosed each year. Onset of Parkinson’s usually begins at around 60 years old, and men are more likely to be affected.

Parkinson’s Disease is managed by medication (levodopa, carbidopa), physiotherapy and in extreme cases, brain surgery. Parkinson’s Disease rarely causes death alone, but puts great stress on the body and making it more vulnerable to life-threatening conditions. The medications also have lots of side-effects, which cannabis can manage.

Check out the positives and negatives below and if you’d like to speak to Doctor Frank about your condition, get in touch!

Value of Medical Marijuana

18 out of 4,276 (0.42%) patients surveyed use medical marijuana for Parkinson’s disease. CBD could be a neuroprotectant, and both THC and CBD may increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. This means that cannabinoids could potentially promote neurogenesis. However, the effects of THC must be balanced against the other side-effects of PD, as THC may have negative as well as positive side-effects for those with PD. THC and CBD may also help prevent or ease myoclonic jerks.

Positives

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Negatives

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Treatments

It seems that most people with Parkinson’s don’t know which strain or type of cannabis they prefer, at 22.22%. Both sativas and indicas were equally preferred, at 16.67%. Much of the evidence surrounding cannabis’s efficacy for PD is anecdotal at the moment, but there is potential that both THC and CBD could be helpful for the jerks and tremors often associated with the condition.

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    Sativas

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    Indicas

78% of people replaced or reduced intake of their normal medications

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What specialists say...

78% of people replaced or reduced intake of their normal medications

Know more of our discoveries in our study about Medical Marijuana

Read the study

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