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Studies related to CBD and Parkinson's symptoms

Studies related to CBD and Parkinson's symptoms

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease is a complex and heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder that can appear in adulthood and significantly affects the quality of life and progressively the autonomy of the person who suffers from it. 

It is the most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease and its main risk factor is age. It mainly affects the male sex and its general prevalence is 0.3%, increasing to 1% in people over 60 years of age. It should be noted that 83% of patients after 20 years of suffering from Parkinson's disease develop some type of dementia.

The etiology is unknown, and may result from the combination of different environmental and genetic factors, while the pathophysiological basis consists of the degeneration and loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain that affects the Basal Ganglia. In addition, the appearance of intracellular inclusions called Lewy Bodies is observed. 

Currently, it has been observed that neuronal inflammation, instead of being a response to the disease, may represent a factor that contributes to the appearance of Parkinson's disease, together with oxidative stress.

Clinical signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s

Motor symptoms

  • Akinesia or slowness in movements (main symptom) 
  • Resting tremor (no tremor observed when performing active movement) 
  • Muscular stiffness 
  • Gait and postural stability problems 
  • Motor fluctuations: dyskinesia (involuntary movements) and dystonia (muscle contractions)

Non-motor symptoms

  • Apathy 
  • Depression 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Autonomic dysfunctions 
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders 
  • Digestive problems 
  • Sensory alterations

Types of Parkinson

They are usually divided between the tremoric form, with a better prognosis, and the non-tremoric forms (rigid-akinetic and instability/gait disorder), as well as a mixed subgroup. 

Nowadays there are no specific biological markers, therefore the diagnosis is based on the observation of specific motor signs and symptoms and complementary tests to rule out other types of Parkinsonism, in addition to the anamnesis and a thorough neurological examination.

Consequently, there is still no curative treatment, although the drugs are effective at a symptomatic level, in particular, Levodopa, whose effect causes alternating fluctuations depending on the good or bad control of the symptoms, called “On-Off”. 

Currently, Levodopa is usually used in combination with other drugs that increase its effectiveness and reduce its side effects such as dyskinesias. 

In addition to pharmacological treatment, carrying out physical therapy activities can represent a positive factor both at the symptomatological level and in improving quality of life.

(1) (2) (3) (4)

Studies on Parkinson’s and the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System  is our physiological system for maintaining the balance of the body and its presence is manifested above all in the Central Nervous System, where it maintains a close relationship with the Basal Ganglia. (6)

Among others, Ferreira-Junior, N. C., Campos in his study "Biological bases for a possible effect of cannabidiol in Parkinson's disease. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry has established that stimulation of the Endocannabinoid System favors neuroprotective effects capable of slowing down neuronal loss in Parkinson's disease.

In particular, CBD is being studied for its Neuromodulatory activity (especially on the dopaminergic system), capable of improving and increasing the quality of nervous transmissions.

 (5) (6) (7) (9)(10) 

Some of the studies cited analyze whether CBD could represent a valid alternative to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's. Specifically, they develop the following premises:

  • Neuroprotective effect: through indirect stimulation of the Endocannabinoid System, it promotes different neuroprotective mechanisms against inflammation and oxidative stress that favor motor and cognitive functions. 
  • Neuromodulatory effect: thanks to the stimulation of dopamine receptors, CBD can help regulate and increase dopamine levels, promoting motor symptoms and daily autonomy. 
  • Anti-inflammatory effect: by activating different channels, CBD helps reduce inflammation both at the neurological level and at the joint and muscle level. 
  • Anxiolytic and antidepressant effect: CBD can help improve mood and help manage emotional difficulties. 
  • Relaxing effect: important both physically and mentally, to promote muscle relaxation, rest and sleep.

(5) (6) (7) (9)(10)

Studies on Parkinson’s and CBD

Studies on Parkinson's and CBD Observational studies have shown positive effects in prevalence through inhalation, while clinical studies on the use of Cannabis present controversial results and do not show clear significant effects, although it seems that those who have registered improvements have been able to observe them after two months of treatment and with high dosages.

(6)(7)(8)(9) (10)

 Bibliography:

  1. Martínez-Fernández., Gasca-Salas C., Sánchez-Ferro, Obeso, ACTUALIZACIÓN EN LA ENFERMEDAD DE PARKINSON, Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes, Volume 27, Issue 3, 2016, Pages 363-379, ISSN 0716-8640, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmclc.2016.06.010
  2. https://www.esparkinson.es/espacio-parkinson/conocer-la-enfermedad/
  3. https://www.msdmanuals.com/es/hogar/enfermedades-cerebrales,-medulares-y-nerviosas/trastornos-del-movimiento/enfermedad-de-parkinson
  4. Simon, D. K., Tanner, C. M., & Brundin, P. (2020). Parkinson Disease Epidemiology, Pathology, Genetics, and Pathophysiology. Clinics in geriatric medicine, 36(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cger.2019.08.002
  5. Cooray, R., Gupta, V., & Suphioglu, C. (2020). Current Aspects of the Endocannabinoid System and Targeted THC and CBD Phytocannabinoids as Potential Therapeutics for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases: a Review. Molecular neurobiology, 57(11), 4878–4890. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02054-6
  6. Patricio, F., Morales-Andrade, A. A., Patricio-Martínez, A., & Limón, I. D. (2020). Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Target: Evidence of its Neuroprotective and Neuromodulatory Function in Parkinson's Disease. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 595635. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.595635
  7. Ferreira-Junior, N. C., Campos, A. C., Guimarães, F. S., Del-Bel, E., Zimmermann, P., Brum Junior, L., Hallak, J. E., Crippa, J. A., & Zuardi, A. W. (2020). Biological bases for a possible effect of cannabidiol in Parkinson's disease. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999), 42(2), 218–224. https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2019-0460
  8. Crippa, J., Hallak, J., Zuardi, A. W., Guimarães, F. S., Tumas, V., & Dos Santos, R. G. (2019). Is cannabidiol the ideal drug to treat non-motor Parkinson's disease symptoms?. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 269(1), 121–133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-019-00982-6
  9. Bougea, A., Koros, C., Simitsi, A. M., Chrysovitsanou, C., Leonardos, A., & Stefanis, L. (2020). Medical cannabis as an alternative therapeutics for Parkinsons' disease: Systematic review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 39, 101154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101154
  10. Junior, N., Dos-Santos-Pereira, M., Guimarães, F. S., & Del Bel, E. (2020). Cannabidiol and Cannabinoid Compounds as Potential Strategies for Treating Parkinson's Disease and L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia. Neurotoxicity research, 37(1), 12–29. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12640-019-00109-8

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Neuropsychologist | Specialised in treatments with Medical Cannabis

Tommaso Bruscolini

Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italy) is a neuropsychologist and phytotherapist based in Barcelona, where he has been running his private practice since 2014, both in person and online, where he formulates and produces different preparations with all kinds of medicinal plants, as well as making personalised recommendations.

A member of the Official College of Psychologists of Catalonia and qualified as a Health Psychologist, he is a specialist in Neuropsychology, the branch that studies the brain and its neurological function. Tommaso complements his training with studies in Phytotherapy and Herbalism at the Guild of Herbalists of Catalonia and two Masters, one in Nutrition and Herbal Dietetics and the other in Mindfulness.

In recent years she has specialised in Medical Cannabis, through private training and collaborations with different entities in the world of Medical Cannabis, coordinating for a year a clinic specialising in cannabinoid medicine, carrying out consultations, writing articles, talks, training courses as well as carrying out consultations and patient follow-up.

He currently collaborates with several entities of the cannabis sector in Spain, among other things he is the coordinator of the therapeutic area of the magazine DolceVita España, consultant in the SmokingMap portal, collaborator of the Unión de Pacientes por la Regulación del Cannabis (UPRC) and Alpha-Cat certified technician to perform cannabinoid analysis.

What fascinates him most about the Cannabis plant is the possibility it has to change the current medicinal and therapeutic paradigm towards a more holistic vision as it acts on our body, mind and mood, in a synergic way.

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