Researchers Note Cannabis Impacts Cognitive Function — But So Do Other MS Drugs
Smoking marijuana cuts spasticity and pain that’s resistant to conventional treatments in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), although it does have some cognitive effects as well, a small clinical trial in 2012 unsurprisingly confirmed.
Spasticity scores on the modified Ashworth scale dropped by an average 2.74 points more with smoked cannabis than with a placebo, researchers at the University of California San Diego found, reports Crystal Phend at MedPage Today.
A difference or two or more points is considered clinically meaningful on the 30-point Ashworth scale which covers mobility of elbows, hips, and knees, report Jody Corey-Bloom, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at UCSD. The researchers reported their findings online in CMAJ.
Jodey Corey-Bloom, M.D., Ph.D.: “We saw a beneficial effect of smoked cannabis on treatment-resistant spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis among our participants”
Besides the positive effects on spasticity, pain scores decreased by about 50 percent as well, the researchers reported. “We saw a beneficial effect of smoked cannabis on treatment-resistant spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis among our participants,” Corey-Bloom said.
The findings regarding smoked marijuana support anecdotal evidence from many MS patients who say smoking the herb relieves spasticity, the researchers noted. About 400,000 pepole in the United States have MS, an unpredictable, often disabling chronic disease in which the protective coating around nerve fibers starts breaking down.
The disease attacks the myelin, which is wrapped around the nerves of the central nervous system, and among other symptoms, cash cause loss of balance, impaired speech, extreme fatigue, double vision and paralysis, reports Paul Irish at The Star.