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Re: Medical marijuana may not be good for MS patients - stud

Postby HarryZ » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:47 am

Here in London ON Canada, they have been prescribing medical MJ for 10 years.

The Pain Clinic has run trials with MJ to compare the side effects of MJ compared to other conventional pain medications. Don't know what the results were but they are still prescribing the MJ. It's availability is very controlled. The neurologist at the pain clinic told me 6 years ago that they know MJ does indeed work for many patients. In many cases, the patent does not have to smoke the MJ but it can also be combined in food to obtain the same results.

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Postby robbie » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:20 am

Not sure if marijuana helps the pain or just makes you not care your in pain.
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Re: Medical marijuana may not be good for MS patients - stud

Postby NHE » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:42 am

Thanks for posting the article Squiffy. I think the quote below is worth highlighting.

Nearly two-thirds of the marijuana smokers were classified as cognitively impaired based on a several psychological tests, such as information processing speed and verbal memory (all taken at least 12 hours after the patients had last used marijuana).

By comparison, only a third of the non-users had similar mental impairment. The effect was independent of other factors that might affect mental functioning - such as whether the participants drank alcohol or were depressed or anxious.


Moreover, the brain imaging work of Dr. Daniel Amen supports the above results. Dr. Amen is a psychologist who runs the Amen Clinics which has several branches across the US. He has done extensive brain image scanning using Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). This type of scanning uses a radioisotope to measure blood flow in the brain and infers brain activity from the blood flow pattern. Read more about the basics of SPECT scanning. A normal SPECT scan shows the brain with a fairly smooth surface representing normal blood flow and normal brain activity. In contrast, the scans of even casual marijuana users reveal decreases in blow flow and brain activity. View a gallery of scans depicting the effects of drug use on brain activity. The scans reveal swiss cheese style holes in the brain which represent areas of marked decreased blood flow and activity.

Dr. Amen's work raises an important issue. That is, it has been repeatedly published that MS patients have decreased cerebral blood flow. Even casual drug use markedly decreases blood flow and it is difficult to imagine that neurons in the affected areas could be healthy. The combined effects of MS and drug use on blood flow could only be worse and seems counterintuitive, e.g., analogous to putting habanero pepper juice into an open cut. While there may be some compounds in marijuana that might be helpful for MS, until these are isolated and more is known about them, I suspect that marijuana use may not be in the best interest of MS patients.

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Postby Loobie » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:34 am

Man this freakin' sucks. I've also read articles that say it's neuroprotective. I think I"m going with those for now. After I get to smoke in the evening is the only time I feel actual relief from pain. The rest of the time I can keep it down with NSAIDS and what not, but the MJ makes it so you can behave in a normal fashion, even if only for a few hours a day in my case. I hate reading this.
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Postby Lyon » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:43 am

..
Last edited by Lyon on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Medical marijuana may not be good for MS patients - stud

Postby HarryZ » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:31 am

Taking isolated information from various sources when it comes to treating MS can drive the average person nuts

The above article says that even casual drug use decreases blood flow and brain activity. Also I would have to presume that if an MS patient suffers from spasms and/or pain, he/she would likely have to take some kind of medication to alleviate these symptoms.

Docs who have studied MJ know very well that it does indeed help with the pain of MS patients. Fortunately in Canada, a MS patient can be under the care of doctor who is able to prescribe MJ in the proper manner. The patient can also opt for different medications, some of which we know are potent and can cause an array of side effects like....well, decreased blood flow to the brain and slower brain activity. Can you imagine that??!!

So when Dr. Amen publishes the results of his particular tests, they have to be put into perspective. The MS patient has to discuss all options before choosing what route to take and make an informed decision.

Dr. Amen's comment that MS patients have decreased blood flow to the brain treads into the CCSVI spectrum but we'll leave that discussion for another day!

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Postby MattB » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:43 pm

Whenever I read these articles I have to wonder how valid the results are since each case of MS is unique. Specifically what I would call into question is that 1/3 of non-users were considered mentally impaired while 2/3 of MJ patients were considered mentally impaired. Even with 1900 people that's not a huge difference number-wise between the two groups and like I said MS affects everyone differently. Plus you have to wonder, if it truly is MJ causing the cognitive impairment why are 1/3 of the people not impaired? Are they immune to the ill effects?

Another thing I'd have to wonder is how the MJ was administered in the patients to whom it was prescribed. Smoke inhalation is particularly detrimental to those of us with MS and I'd imagine if that was the primary form of administration it certainly would add to the cognitive decline(if that's what it is). I think more people smoke it than ingest it.

But, as everyone would probably agree, there needs to be a lot more research into the effects of MJ before any of are able to come to an informed stance on the matter.
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Postby patientx » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:25 pm

Lew, are these some of these articles you were referring to?

http://sites.pcmd.ac.uk/cnrg/cupid.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16291891

I also came across this in an editorial I saw:
the potential implications of this pathway in disease progression are supported by animal data showing that cannabinoids are neuroprotective and that CB1 receptor knock-out mice develop severe progressive experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.7 This therapeutic strategy underpins
the ‘Cannabinoid Use in Progressive Inflammatory brain Disease’ (CUPID) study, which is currently evaluating whether THC, one of the naturally occurring CB1 agonists in cannabis, might slow down the progression of disability in subjects with progressive MS.
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Postby Loobie » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:30 pm

YES! 8O
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Re: Medical marijuana may not be good for MS patients - stud

Postby NHE » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:02 am

HarryZ wrote:Docs who have studied MJ know very well that it does indeed help with the pain of MS patients. Fortunately in Canada, a MS patient can be under the care of doctor who is able to prescribe MJ in the proper manner. The patient can also opt for different medications, some of which we know are potent and can cause an array of side effects like....well, decreased blood flow to the brain and slower brain activity. Can you imagine that??!!

So when Dr. Amen publishes the results of his particular tests, they have to be put into perspective. The MS patient has to discuss all options before choosing what route to take and make an informed decision.


Yes, prescription pain meds are just as bad for the brain as self prescribed (or otherwise) herbal ones. I've had chronic neuropathic pain in my right foot for the last 12 years. I've never taken anything for it, though I was offered neurontin by my neurologist many years ago. However, after looking into neurontin, I decided not to take it. Sometimes the pain is easy to ignore, while at other times it is not. I just deal with it. One thing I've discovered is that if I give myself something else to do, then I tend not to focus on it so much. I find folding origami to be helpful if I'm sitting in an hour long meeting for example.

Dr. Amen's comment that MS patients have decreased blood flow to the brain treads into the CCSVI spectrum but we'll leave that discussion for another day!


That wasn't published by Dr. Amen, but by various researchers over the
last 20 years or more. Please see the post I linked to for some of the references.

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Re: SPECT Scanning

Postby NHE » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:28 am

For further info, here's a gallery of some 3D rotating brain SPECT scans.

http://www.amenclinics.com/brain-scienc ... e-gallery/


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Re: Medical marijuana may not be good for MS patients - stud

Postby HarryZ » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:53 am

Yes, prescription pain meds are just as bad for the brain as self prescribed (or otherwise) herbal ones. I've had chronic neuropathic pain in my right foot for the last 12 years. I've never taken anything for it, though I was offered neurontin by my neurologist many years ago. However, after looking into neurontin, I decided not to take it. Sometimes the pain is easy to ignore, while at other times it is not. I just deal with it. One thing I've discovered is that if I give myself something else to do, then I tend not to focus on it so much. I find folding origami to be helpful if I'm sitting in an hour long meeting for example.


Some people, like yourself, are able manage their chronic pain without medication. Most, however, cannot and require some kind of drug intervention. And whatever they take will likely have some kind of side effect(s).

I am concerned that some researchers are quick to jump on the anti MJ bandwagon and supposedly warn us of what damage it can do. I wonder if these same people would go after drugs such as Neurontin, Lyrica etc and say how nasty they can possibly be. But they would be going up against big pharma and that is a gamble most researchers would never take.

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Cannabis-like drugs could kill pain without the high

Postby MSUK » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:14 am

Image


An ingenious set of experiments has teased apart the mind-altering and pain-relieving effects of the main component of cannabis. This could open the way to cannabis-like drugs that provide pain relief without causing unwanted highs.

Cannabis is taken as a painkiller – to dull pain in cancer for example – but it can produce unpleasant side effects such as hallucinations and impaired mobility.

Now, a team led by Li Zhang of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, has shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active component in cannabis that makes people high but that is also thought to dull pain – binds to different molecular targets on cells to produce these two effects.... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... geid/1815/
MS-UK - http://www.ms-uk.org/
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Green Tea and Autoimmune Disease

Postby syckbastid » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:48 am

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Postby CVfactor » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:33 pm

Nice find. I guess this is additional support for the value of regulatory T cells in maintaining self tolerance in autoimmune diseases.

I think I'll start drinking green tea.
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