People suffering from Parkinson’s disease often experience random pains. Until recently these pains were not conclusively linked to the disease. However, a recent study conducted at Rabin Medical Center has not only shown that the pain is a symptom of the disease, but also suggests a possible treatment – cannabis.
“50 to 80 percent of Parkinson’s patients suffer from pain that could not be treated properly,” says Professor Ruth Djaldetti, senior neurologist and Head of the Movement Disorder Clinic, who conducted the research. “In light of the study’s results, we could treat the pain efficiently and improve the patient’s quality of life.”
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The research examined eight genes known to be involved in pain, among 237 patients with Parkinson’s disease. They found that those suffering from this type of pain have gene sequence changes associated with the activity of cannabis-like substances produced in the brain and another gene associated with pain transmission.
According to Djaldetti, the results of the study support the approach that patients suffering from this type of pain might be able to find relief by treatment with cannabis. Despite the promising results, Djaldetti says that further research should be done on the subject, so that in the future, medical treatment can be adjusted according to individual gene-mapping.
The study was published in the European Journal of Pain.
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