Recent Survey Finds Many Parkinson's Disease Patients Turn To Cannabis
This article by Chynna Pearson was originally published on Cannabis & Tech Today, and appears here with permission.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects populations all over the globe. In fact, it is estimated that over 10 million people live with the condition worldwide.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative health condition that affects the nerve cells in the brain that control the body’s movement.
The disease is a progressive condition with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease increasing gradually as time goes by.
The condition received its name via James Parkinson who is a London doctor that first reported symptoms related to the condition in the early 1800s.
What Are Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
One of the hard things about treating Parkinson’s disease is that symptoms vary widely among patients. It’s a condition that seems to affect many patients differently.
Some of the more common symptoms are broken up into two categories – those that affect the patient’s motor function and those that do not.
Common symptoms related to motor function include movement tremors, the ‘freezing’ of physical functions, and rigidity.
Common non-motor function-related symptoms include fatigue/tiredness, depression, and ongoing physical pain.
Symptoms tend to appear more often among people that are 60 years old or older, however, people can develop symptoms earlier in life as well.
Cannabis as a Treatment
Some of the more common pharmaceutical treatments for Parkinson’s disease involve dopamine promoters, pain medications, antidepressants, cognition-enhancing medications, and anti-tremor medications.
Every one of those pharmaceutical drugs come with their own varying levels of side-effects and other potential dangers such as severe addiction.
Cannabis, on the other hand, is not nearly as harmful as the previously mentioned medications, which is likely why more Parkinson’s patients are using the cannabis plant for medical purposes.
A recent survey of Parkinson’s patients found that nearly 1 out of every 4 are using medical cannabis to treat their condition.
The researchers behind the survey are pushing for more research to learn more about best practices when treating Parkinson’s with cannabis, which is an ongoing issue.
“Our results suggest that although there are many people with PD using cannabis as a [complementary alternative] treatment for their motor and non-motor symptoms, the lack of formal guidance about cannabis usage for PD may underlie inconsistencies in use and reported effectiveness,” researchers concluded.
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