Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) Treatment for Motor and Non–Motor Symptoms of Parkinson Disease: An Open-Label Observational Study

Lotan, Itay MD; Treves, Therese A. MD; Roditi, Yaniv MD; Djaldetti, Ruth MD

doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000016
Original Article

Objective: The use of cannabis as a therapeutic agent for various medical conditions has been well documented. However, clinical trials in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) have yielded conflicting results. The aim of the present open-label observational study was to assess the clinical effect of cannabis on motor and non–motor symptoms of PD.

Methods: Twenty-two patients with PD attending the motor disorder clinic of a tertiary medical center in 2011 to 2012 were evaluated at baseline and 30 minutes after smoking cannabis using the following battery: Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale, visual analog scale, present pain intensity scale, Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, as well as Medical Cannabis Survey National Drug and Alcohol Research Center Questionnaire.

Results: Mean (SD) total score on the motor Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale score improved significantly from 33.1 (13.8) at baseline to 23.2 (10.5) after cannabis consumption (t = 5.9; P < 0.001). Analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremor (P < 0.001), rigidity (P = 0.004), and bradykinesia (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed. The study suggests that cannabis might have a place in the therapeutic armamentarium of PD. Larger, controlled studies are needed to verify the results.

Department of Neurology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva; and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Itay Lotan, MD, Department of Neurology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petach Tikva 49100, Israel; E-mail: itayl@clalit.org.il

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.