Session Time: 12:30pm-2:00pm
Location: Exhibit Hall located in Hall B, Level 2
Objective: To assess the subjective effects of medical cannabis (MC) on patients with multiple treatment-resistant Tourette syndrome (TS).
Background: Several single case studies and two small controlled trials, have suggested that MC might be effective in suppression of tics and in the treatment of associated behavioral problems with TS.
Methods: A retrospective observational study based upon a telephone survey among treatment-resistant TS patients treated with MC for at least 2 months, at a tertiary Tourette clinic. The goals of treatment were to suppress tics, relieve premonitory urges and muscular pain and to improve associated behavioral problems. Treatment was approved by the Israel Medical Cannabis Agency.
Results: Of the 27 patients treated with MC, 24 (18 males, age 35.1±12.5 years) participated in the survey. The mean duration of MC treatment was 15.2±13.2 months; the mean monthly dose – 27.9±8.3 grams. The consumption methods were smoking (n=12 [50%]), oil (n=8 [33%]), smoking +oil (n=3 [13%]), vaporizing (n=1 [4%]). Twelve patients (50%) reported a "good" response to treatment, 8 patients (33%) a "moderate" response and 4 patients (17%) rated their response as "poor". A significant reduction in the quantity and intensity of tics, as well as decrease in premonitory urges was reported in 83% of the patients. Improvement in quality of life was described as "good" by 13 patients (54%), "moderate" by 7 patients (29%) and 4 patients stated no improvement. Six patients noted a moderate reduction in obsessive-compulsive behavior. MC improved sleep for 93% of patients, memory for 31% and concentration in 50%. Worsening memory and concentration was noted by 25% and 6% of the patients, respectively. Two patients stopped treatment with MC after several months because it interfered with their performance at work and one patient because of cough and bad odor. Other mild and tolerable adverse events, reported by a minority of the patients, included dry mouth, dizziness, instability, confusion and cough.
Conclusions: In this small cohort of Tourette patients, treatment with MC resulted in subjective improvements in symptom severity, and quality of life. Adverse effects were mild in the majority of patients. Prospective controlled trials of MC for the treatment of severe, resistant Tourette syndrome are warranted.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:S. Arad, L. Bar-Lev Schleider, J. Knaani, H. Shabtai, Y. Balash, A. Ezra, N. Giladi, T. Gurevich. Medical cannabis for the treatment of Tourette syndrome: A descriptive analysis of 24 patients [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2016; 31 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/medical-cannabis-for-the-treatment-of-tourette-syndrome-a-descriptive-analysis-of-24-patients/. Accessed December 5, 2023.
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MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/medical-cannabis-for-the-treatment-of-tourette-syndrome-a-descriptive-analysis-of-24-patients/