Those with Hungtington’s disease may be able to treat some of their symptoms, including dystonia, with cannabinoids, according to a new study.
“Treatment options for dystonia are limited”, states the study’s abstract. “Cannabinoids have been described as a potential treatment for patients with dystonia of a different origin. Here, we present early onset HD [Huntington’s disease] patients with a marked improvement of motor symptoms mainly due to alleviation of dystonia due to treatment with cannabinoids.” In addition, “we review the current literature concerning the use of cannabinoids in HD. Dystonia is described by the Mayo Clinic as “Involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements.”
According to researchers, “The Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor score, including a chorea and dystonia subscore, was conducted before and after the start of cannabinoids in seven patients without any other changes in medication. The UHDRS motor score and the dystonia subscore (±SD) improved from 70.9 (25.5) to 60.6 (26.9) with a mean change of 10.3 [95% CI 6.0-14.6] and from 12.3 (4.0) to 8.0 (3.6) with a mean change of 4.3 [95% CI 2.3-6.3], respectively (both p = 0.018).”
They conclude; “Improvement of motor symptoms, mainly dystonia, led to several relevant improvements from a global clinical perspective such as improvement of care, gait and fine motor skills and weight gain. Moreover, we observed changes in behavior with less irritability and apathy, as well as less hypersalivation in some cases.”
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