Navigation Links
Medical cannabis provides dramatic relief for sufferers of chronic ailments
Date:1/24/2013

Though controversial, medical cannabis has been gaining ground as a valid therapy, offering relief to suffers of diseases such as cancer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ALS and more. The substance is known to soothe severe pain, increase the appetite, and ease insomnia where other common medications fail.

In 2009, Zach Klein, a graduate of Tel Aviv University's Department of Film and Television Studies, directed the documentary Prescribed Grass. Through the process, he developed an interest in the scientific research behind medical marijuana, and now, as a specialist in policy-making surrounding medical cannabis and an MA student at TAU's Porter School of Environmental Studies, he is conducting his own research into the benefits of medical cannabis.

Using marijuana from a farm called Tikkun Olam a reference to the Jewish concept of healing the world Klein and his fellow researchers tested the impact of the treatment on 19 residents of the Hadarim nursing home in Israel. The results, Klein says, have been outstanding. Not only did participants experience dramatic physical results, including healthy weight gain and the reduction of pain and tremors, but Hadarim staff saw an immediate improvement in the participants' moods and communication skills. The use of chronic medications was also significantly reduced, he reports.

Klein's research team includes Dr. Dror Avisar of TAU's Hydrochemistry Laboratory at the Department of Geography and Human Environment; Prof. Naama Friedmann and Rakefet Keider of TAU's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education; Dr. Yehuda Baruch of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and director of the Abarbanel Mental Health Center; and Dr. Moshe Geitzen and Inbal Sikorin of Hadarim.

Cutting down on chronic medications

Israel is a world leader in medical cannabis research, Klein says. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, was first discovered there by Profs. Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni. Prof. Mechoulam is also credited for having defined the endocannabinoid system, which mimics the effects of cannabis and plays a role in appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.

In the Hadarim nursing home, 19 patients between the ages of 69 and 101 were treated with medical cannabis in the form of powder, oil, vapour or smoke three times daily over the course of a year for conditions such as pain, lack of appetite, and muscle spasms and tremors. Researchers and nursing home staff monitored participants for signs of improvement, as well as improvement in overall life quality, such as mood and ease in completing daily living activities.

During the study, 17 patients achieved a healthy weight, gaining or losing pounds as needed. Muscle spasms, stiffness, tremors and pain reduced significantly. Almost all patients reported an increase in sleeping hours and a decrease in nightmares and PTSD-related flashbacks.

There was a notable decline in the amount of prescribed medications taken by patients, such as antipsychotics, Parkinson's treatment, mood stabilizers, and pain relievers, Klein found, noting that these drugs have severe side effects. By the end of the study, 72 percent of participants were able to reduce their drug intake by an average of 1.7 medications a day.

Connecting cannabis and swallowing

This year, Klein is beginning a new study at Israel's Reuth Medical Center with Drs. Jean-Jacques Vatine and Aviah Gvion, in which he hopes to establish a connection between medical cannabis and improved swallowing. One of the biggest concerns with chronically ill patients is food intake, says Klein. Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, can lead to a decline in nutrition and even death. He believes that cannabis, which has been found to stimulate regions of the brain associated with swallowing reflexes, will have a positive impact.

Overall, Klein believes that the healing powers of cannabis are close to miraculous, and has long supported an overhaul in governmental policy surrounding the drug. Since his film was released in 2009, the number of permits for medical cannabis in Israel has increased from 400 to 11,000. His research is about improving the quality of life, he concludes, especially for those who have no other hope.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests
2. Weill Cornell Medical College establishes Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
3. CAM therapy combined with conventional medical care may improve treatment of lower back pain
4. Image share project gives patients and physicians anytime, anywhere access to medical images
5. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
6. Biomedical researchers receive Hartwell Foundation awards
7. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
8. Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Medical Costs Later: Study
9. Ben-Gurion U. and Cincinnati Childrens Hospital to develop pediatric-specific medical technologies
10. Gene Tests May Not Drive Patients to More Medical Care
11. University studies and career expectations of medical students
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... automotive invention that improves the storage features of a pick up truck. , ... Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Over the next five ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Healing and Spiritual Awakening , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and ... The addition of Onnit brain and mood optimization products to the store is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The White House ... their loans, more information about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections ... debt, including federal and private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... Pennsylvania announced that student team BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of ... Impact Prize, the Gloeckner Undergraduate Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. ... cosmetic dental treatments to improve smiles. Cosmetic dentistry is a fast-growing field as more ... This offer allows patients to learn more about the options currently available to them ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)...  Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) ... fiscal second quarter ended March 26, 2016.  GAAP ... 41.2%, and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.47 increased ... a reported basis, and 6.3% on a constant ... good quarter, highlighted by 14.6% growth in non-GAAP ...
(Date:4/27/2016)...   , ... le trimestre, soutenu par une croissance de +42% ... de +16% des ventes aux hôpitaux et cliniques  ... (Euronext : MKEA, FR0010609263 ; OTCQX : MKEAY), inventeur de Cellvizio®, ... chiffre d,affaires pour le premier trimestre clos au ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... -- Elekta today announced that its leading-edge ... focal point of seven scientific presentations at ESTRO 35, ... & Oncology, taking place April 29 - May 3. ... and a high-field MRI scanner with sophisticated software that ... in real time. The MR-linac is designed to improve ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: