Cannabis For Tourette Syndrome? Significant Improvement In Quality Of Life, Finds Israeli Study

Tourette syndrome (TS) patients who consume cannabis products report significant improvements in their quality of life and often reduce their intake of prescription medicines, according to data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, reported NORML.

The study titled “Use of Medical Cannabis in Patients with Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome in a Real-World Setting" assessed patients’ symptoms immediately prior to and following six months of cannabis treatment. Study participants generally inhaled THC-dominant cannabis flowers, though some patients also consumed extract formulations.

Researchers noted: “A statistically significant improvement in quality of life, employment status, and [a] reduction in the number of medications was found, with a statistically significant number of patients reporting improvements in OCD and anxiety symptoms after six months of treatment.”

Methodology And Results

TS patients were recruited from a registry of patients from the Israeli cannabis company Tikun Olam.

Questionnaires were answered before and after 6 months of treatment. Patients were divided into two groups: (A) patients who responded and (B) patients who did not respond to the follow-up questionnaire.

In group A, an analysis was made to evaluate the presence and frequency of the motor and vocal tics. The patients' general mood, employment status, quality of life and comorbidities were also included in the analysis. Seventy patients were identified.

The tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol mean daily dose was 123 and 50.5 mg, respectively.

In group A, a statistically significant improvement was identified in quality of life, employment status and the reduction of the number of medications.

Sixty-seven percent and 89% of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety comorbidities, respectively, reported an improvement.

The authors identified improvements in motor and vocal tic severity, but they acknowledged that these changes were not statistically significant. The most frequent adverse effects were dizziness and increased appetite.

“Our findings suggest that medical cannabis may be an effective and safe option to improve comorbidities and quality of life in TS patients,” the authors concluded. “Medical cannabis effectiveness should be further evaluated in large-scale randomized clinical trials.”

Photo By Tikun Olam. 

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