Research has been carried out on treating chorea and irritability from the progressive brain disorder, Huntington’s Disease. Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid. It is made in the lab to treat a range of human disorders. Cannabinoids are said to have therapeutic properties in the treatment of Huntington’s.
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Cannabinoids are active ingredients found in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa) and the hemp plant. The most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBD). THC is the mind altering chemical in cannabis and that gives the user a “high” when smoked or induced into the body. CBD is purely medicinal and offers bodily homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system consists of two cannabinoid receptors, 1 and 2. Most cannabinoids bind to these receptors and work throughout the body. We will look at how cannabinoids can reduce chorea and irritability in Huntington’s Disease.
Huntington’s Disease leads to chorea and neuronal deformities. Psychiatric conditions were discovered in 98% of people in a study. In over 50% of the patients studied, researchers discovered:
Many researchers believe cannabinoids could have a successful impact on the symptoms of Huntington’s Disease, specifically on choreatic motility. Choreatic motility is a symptom of many diseases of the nervous system and appears as jerky, involuntary body movements. Chorea gravidarum is a temporary form of chorea. It is rare and happens during the first trimester of pregnancy. It comes with bilateral involuntary movements and often slurred speech. Cannabis may offer treatment of chorea in movement disorders.
Beyond the potential symptomatic alleviation for Huntington’s Disease, there are some reportings that cannabinoids may have a neuro-security impact. This impact could prevent the signs of striatal neuron death. Striatal neurons are in the forebrain and dictate motor planning.
To date there are only two sources that promote the application of cannabinoids in Huntington’s disease. Cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, had no impact on chorea seriousness in 15 subjects. In one lone subject, single administrative concentration, unmediated open clinical experiment applying nabilone, 1.5mg, the chorea decreased massively. Researchers documented a case study of a woman with irritability. Her mood improved from the use of synthetic cannabinoid products. This enhancement was controlled with nabilone.
The subject was a 43-year-old female who died in December 2003. She had signs of Huntington’s Disease at the young age of 24. She quickly developed personality changes. In 1995, her husband reported difficulties caring for his wife. These difficulties were related to personality changes from her illness. In 2001, her husband started to administer marijuana to her.
Cannabis seemed to improve her mood and she started cooperating in situations, like using the wheelchair harness. In December 2001, the doctor prescribed nabilone, a synthetic 9-keto cannabinoid. The subject begin to use nabilone, 1mg daily. The husband and the nursing home staff reported improvements in behavior and mood. They also reported a decrease of chorea from the use of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids. Given her medical history and the life-threatening nature of her illness, cannabinoids were only able to extend her life and offer her some comfort.
If you are interested in cannabis-based treatment for Huntington’s or any other disease, speak to the appropriate health care providers. Do not start a treatment plan on your own. In the U.S., cannabis laws vary by state. Be sure to check the law so you are not partaking in illegal activity.