Movement Disorders

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Movement Disorders and Medical Cannabis 


Neurological diseases cause movement disorders, which is a condition causing increased or decreased involuntary limb activity. MedlinePlus, the U.S. Library of Medicine journal, details the six-movement disorders, with ataxia and dystonia as the two most common. While ataxia, is a loss of muscle coordination, dystonia is involuntary and repetitive muscle contractions that twist, causing pain. There are various treatments for movement disorders, from medication to physical therapy.

Medical cannabis also has shown to ease movement disorders, according to the medical periodical Handbook of Clinical Neurology. The 1999 study, “Cannabis in Movement Disorders,” reported that while despite the lack of controlled studies there is evidence that cannabinoids are of therapeutic value in the treatment of tics in Tourette syndrome, the reduction of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease and some forms of tremor and dystonia.”

Movement Disorder Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Along with ataxia and dystonia, MedlinePlus details other movement disorders, including Huntington’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette Syndrome, and tremors. There are several causes for movement disorders: genetics, infections, medicines, damage to the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves, metabolic disorders, stroke, and vascular diseases, and toxins. While there is no cure for movement disorders, treatment can alleviate symptoms and soothe chronic pain 

Treatment for movement disorders range, with “each need spate attention and diagnosis although most of them are treated with the same armament of medications,” reports Beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, GABA analogues, and antipsychotic medications all treat movement disorders along with Botox. 

Movement Disorder and THC & CBD

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society reports how medical cannabis can alleviate certain types of movement disorders. Dr. Nestor Galvez Jimenez says, Florida approved the drug, “not a day goes by without having to answer the question about the therapeutic role of cannabis in Parkinson’s disease.” While he noted there is no present proof it helps with tics or dystopia, Dr. Galvez Jimenez did note, according to the American Academy of Neurology Guideline Development Subcommittee, “cannabinoids may be effective in Multiple Sclerosis, central pain and spasms.”  

In 2017, the journal Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience also concluded there were positive findings of medical cannabis for “anorexia nervosa, anxiety, PTSD, psychotic symptoms, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.” As suspected, several other trials conclusively confirm medical cannabis eases symptoms of anorexia and Alzheimer’s disease

“More adequately powered controlled trials that examine the long and short term efficacy, safety and tolerability of cannabis for medical use, and the mechanisms underpinning the therapeutic potential are warranted,” reports the journal.

While further research shows that medical cannabis can lessen upsetting side effects from movement disorders, plant’s properties continue to help so many who suffer from significant depilating disorders.

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Data Last Updated 12/13/2022

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