Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Promising Drug Therapy for Parkinson's won't be Researched, yet

What if I told you there was a drug that could cause the Mean total score on the motor Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) to improve significantly from 33.1 at baseline to 23.2 after usage and the analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia.

If you were a Parkinson's Patient, you might say, sign me up and if you were a doctor, where's my prescription pad.  However, if you're the US government, you'd be saying no, no, no.  Why? because while an initial study done in Israel showed these results, the title of the study was, "Cannabis (medical marijuana) treatment for motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson disease: an open-label observational study."  This research is thus nearly impossible to undertake in the US because, federal rules state that experiments can use marijuana only from a single, government-run farm in Mississippi. Researchers say the agency that oversees the farm, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has long been hostile to proposals aimed at examining possible benefits of the drug.

In the last 10 years, the government had approved just one U.S. research center to conduct clinical trials involving marijuana use for medical purposes — a UC San Diego facility created by the California Legislature.  However, on Friday:
the Obama administration handed backers of medical marijuana a significant victory Friday, opening the way for a University of Arizona researcher to examine whether pot can help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress, a move that could lead to broader studies into potential benefits of the drug.

This is the start and while I don't believe that Marijuana will be the wonder drug some people think it is.  It will be scientific research that proves or disproves that theory, not some anti-drug politician who still believes that evolution is only a Theory.

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