A study published last week in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease examined whether cannabinoids can be used to treat motor symptoms in patients with early-onset Huntington’s. The results showed that the cannabis-based treatments significantly improved motor symptoms in all patients...
Huntington’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability. Two of the major motor problems seen with Huntington's are chorea and dystonia. Chorea is characterized by jerky involuntary movements. Dystonia is defined by involuntary, often painful, contractions of muscles. The study, “Cannabinoids for Treatment of Dystonia in Huntington’s Disease,” looked at whether cannabis can help with these two symptoms in particular.
As noted in the article below from Huntington's Disease News, "Researchers evaluated the clinical benefits of cannabinoids in seven patients with early-onset Huntington’s disease, with severe dystonia as the main motor symptom. Alternative therapies used to address dystonia were either ineffective or not possible (due to non-motor symptoms) in these patients." The researchers, from Germany and Austria, found that all the medicinal cannabis treatments the patients used resulted in significant dystonia improvement, although no relevant changes were seen concerning chorea.
The team stated that, building upon the favorable results, “A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial appears to be highly warranted to establish definitely the symptomatic effects of cannabinoids for dystonia in HD since dystonia is a frequent and disabling symptom.”
It's encouraging to see scientists in Europe charging ahead with studies while American advocates, patients, and physicians continue fighting battles against stigmas which have prevented cannabis research. Hopefully, results such as these, which bolster the clear arguments supporting the efficacy of medicinal cannabis, will continue to educate the world about how cannabis is helping patients with a wide variety of illnesses, diseases, and symptoms.
Link to the Huntington's Disease News piece on the study
Link to the abstract of the study on the publisher’s website
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