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New evidence of cannabis’ benefit in Huntington’s Disease



New evidence of cannabis’ benefit in Huntington’s Disease


lable evidence indicates that cannabis can improve neurological symptoms associated with Huntington disease (HD), according to the findings of a literature review published in the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Researchers urge physicians to consider authorizing it for certain patients suffering from the condition.

Huntington’s disease is a rare, genetic disease that causes a progressive breakdown (degeneration) of certain nerve cells within the brain. It has a broad impact on a person’s functional abilities and typically causes a variety of movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.

Symptoms of HD can develop at any time, but they often first appear when people are in their 30s or 40s. When the condition develops at an age before reaching 20 years-old, it’s called juvenile Huntington’s disease. 


Review of scientific record

A team of investigators affiliated with the Saint James School of Medicine in Illinois reviewed 22 studies – including five randomized, placebo-controlled trials – assessing the efficacy of either cannabinoids or herbal cannabis for the alleviation of symptoms of HD and other related movement disorders.

Of the studies included for review, authors determined that “the majority [of them] showed statistically significant results favoring the use of medical marijuana, especially for improving motor symptoms and quality of sleep.”

Authors concluded that additional clinical trials are warranted, but also recommended that in the interim, “physicians consider prescribing medical marijuana as adjunctive treatment for symptomatic relief to slow the progression or reverse spasms, tremor, spasticity, chorea, dystonia, behavioral, neuropsychiatric and sleep disturbances in patients with Huntington disease.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, no FDA-approved medications are currently available to mitigate the physical, mental, and behavioral decline associated with HD.





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