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Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Movement Disorders

  • Briony Catlow
  • Juan Sanchez-RamosEmail author
Movement Disorders (O Suchowersky and A Videnovic, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Movement Disorders

Opinion statement

Use of cannabinoids as medications has a long history. Unfortunately, the prohibition of cannabis and its classification in 1970 as a schedule 1 drug has been a major obstacle in studying these agents in a systematic, controlled manner. The number of class 1 studies (randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled) in patients with movement disorders is limited. Hence, it is not possible to make recommendations on the use of these cannabinoids as primary treatments for any of the movement disorders at this time. Fortunately, there is an expanding body of research in animal models of age-dependent and disease-related changes in the endocannabinoid system that is providing new targets for drug development. Moreover, there is growing evidence of a “cannabinoid entourage effect” in which a combination of cannabinoids derived from the plant are more effective than any single cannabinoid for a number of conditions. Cannabis preparations may presently offer an option for compassionate use in severe neurologic diseases, but at this point, only when standard-of-care therapy is ineffective. As more high-quality clinical data are gathered, the therapeutic application of cannabinoids will expand.

Keywords

Cannabinoids Cannabis Schedule 1 drug THC CBD Movement disorders Endocannabinoid system Cannabis preparations Compassionate use Therapeutic application 

Notes

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lieber Institute for Brain DevelopmentBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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