1/16/2008

Marijuana and Parkinson's Disease

I used to have a Supervisor that was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and I could see the effects on him though out the time I worked for him. Within a year after he admitted that he was diagnosed with this disease he left the work place and I have not heard from him since. I could see the effect this had on him and his family and how the medications he was on would affect him throughout the day. I was reading about research that was accomplished in 2004 about the effects Marijuana can have on Debilitating Diseases. One of the issues that was researched was the effect on Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's Disease has been diagnosed in more that 1 million American's, with symptoms of Slow movements, Muscle Tremors, and Muscle stiffness. This Disease destroys brain cells that create the chemical Dopamine. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter that has many functions in the brain, such as: important roles in behavior and cognition, motor activity, motivation and reward, regulation of milk production, sleep, mood, attention, and learning. There are treatments available to help replenish lost Dopamine but there is currently nothing out there that can stop or reverse the effect this disease has on the brain cells that produce this chemical. Research in 2004 has shown that in mice that have received marijuana-like substance and then were given a substance that would destroy the chemical producing brain cells showed little to no difference in the brain chemistry than a healthy mouse. Now if research can be extended on this subject I am wondering if they may be able to try and get the marijuana-like substance that may reverse the effects on patients with Parkinson's Disease. Now there are a lot of effects on Parkinson's patients and the most noticeable is the tremors. My old supervisor was the type that would notice the shaking hands and try to hide the fact that he was shaking. There was a study conducted in the Czech Republic for Marijuana on the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Like here in the US doing research with Marijuana is also dangerous since it is against the law. But these studies showed that with over 300 patients with an average age of 66 and on average dealing with the disease for 9 years 46% of them showed relief from the symptoms. The research also showed that the longer the use of Marijuana for the patient the more likely they would see the reduced effects of the disease. Those that used it for more than 3 months. These studies were years ago and I am looking for newer studies to see how far the research has gone since. Sources: Reuters Health Author: Paula Moyer Society for Neuroscience

3 comments:

Mandy said...

Dru ~ This is a very good article on Parkinson's disease. My grandfather died from the effects of Parkinson's and one of my uncles now has Parkinson's. It is a terrible, terrible disease. I was not aware of the Marijuana research, thank you for this post. I think that Marijuana should be available for this and other diseases like this. If it does nothing other than making the patient feel better for a shot period.

Anonymous said...

Lorene Geist is 82 years old. Instead of Marijuana she took high quality supplements, the Isotonic OPC-3, CoQ-10 and other Isotonics stuffs. I saw her telling her story back in 2004 on how the tremors went away after someone told her about the magic of antioxidant and CoQ-10 and she tried them. Few days ago I got her number and talked to her. She is tremors free now even though back in 2004, her doctor could not prescribed more medications when the side effect had caused a lot of troubles such as low blood pressure etc. Go to find more info on how the antioxidant such as OPC-3 and CoQ10 have shown many good results in helping people with parkinson. Hope that help, particularly for Mandy.

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