Objective: A survey based assessment of marijuana use in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Background: Due to marijuana’s controlled status little quality research and no clear provider guidelines exist regarding medical applications in disease populations such as PD1. Patients are also apprehensive of marijuana treatments due to lack of scientific evidence2. The MDS, in blog posts and previous congress abstracts, has cited the dialogue initiated by a patient with their neurologist inquiring after cannabinoids as one without enough evidence based guidance.
Method: An anonymous 11 question survey was distributed to PD patients at the UMass Neurology clinic and local PD support groups.
Results: 33 marijuana users rated symptom modification on a -5 to +5 scale. Many subjects used a variety of MJ and CBD products for over a year (63.7%) and 50% are daily users, reporting significant average* symptom relief for pain (+3.32±0.53), sleep (+3.16±0.65), anxiety (+2.70±0.83), stiffness (+2.13±0.60), and tremor (+2.17±0.73). Subjects reported modest improvements in other symptoms such as dyskinesia (+1.56±0.62), and bradykinesia (+1.48±0.67). Subjects did not report average negative impact on any symptom. 87.7% of subjects who denied using MJ indicated they were open to it in the future.
Conclusion: Our research indicates overwhelming interest in MJ use and self-experimentation in the PD community. Subjects using MJ report encouraging subjective relief of motor symptoms such as stiffness and tremor, as well as relief of non-motor symptoms like pain, sleep, and anxiety. Notably patients did not report average negative impact on any of the symptoms measured in this survey, suggesting that MJ use is well tolerated in this population. These results support a continued need for research investigating the benefits and risks of MJ use in PD patients.
References: 1.Feeney, M., MD, & Kluger, B., MD. (n.d.). Weeding through the haze: A survey on cannabis use among people with parkinson’s disease. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/weeding-through-the-haze-a-survey-on-cannabis-use-among-people-with-parkinsons-disease/ 2.Bougea, A., Koros, C., Simitsi, A., Chrysovitsanou, C., Leonardos, A., & Stefanis, L. (2020, March 31). Medical cannabis as an alternative therapeutics for parkinsons’ disease: Systematic review. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388119309867?casa_token=653JewSD0SIAAAAA%3AxkY-An7khf2rwRluPf-Jw7TV-SknMNjHoPoXlfI1vrgP5vB8YmTfg-19_rAczDMf6Pk1JAaC
To cite this abstract in AMA style:R. Healy, J. Paulson, A. Deb, K. Smith. Survey-Based study of marijuana used in Parkinson’s Disease patients [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2021; 36 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/survey-based-study-of-marijuana-used-in-parkinsons-disease-patients/. Accessed November 29, 2023.
« Back to MDS Virtual Congress 2021
MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/survey-based-study-of-marijuana-used-in-parkinsons-disease-patients/