“The challenge for people with Parkinson’s is clear, as there is a lack of definitive studies informing clinicians and patients with Parkinson’s about the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis,” said Tom Borger, Zelira’s chief business officer, in a press release.
Zelira Therapeutics, an Australian medical cannabis company, is developing a survey in partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation to study the benefits and usage of medical marijuana and hemp-derived treatments among those living with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is described as a condition that affects the brain and results in gradual loss of coordination and movement. Nerve cells, or neurons, in the substantia nigra region of the brain begin to malfunction or die in a process called neurodegeneration.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, “Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is one of the most popular topics among the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community, for people with PD, health professionals and researchers, alike.”
Whether you are living with Parkinson’s or caring for someone with PD, finding balance can help you cope with the daily stresses: https://t.co/BLJbC0mFrq— Parkinson's Foundation (@ParkinsonDotOrg) January 30, 2020
The foundation has remained clear that although medical marijuana is widely used among those with PD, further research is needed to reach scientific conclusions, adding, “The bottom line is that more studies are needed, specifically larger and more rigorously conducted studies.”
Zelira attended the Parkinson’s Foundation’s first conference on medical cannabis and PD in Denver, Colorado in March of 2019.
“Now that medical marijuana is legal in 31 states and in many other countries, people are equating access to efficacy. It is imperative that we address the clinical implications of medical marijuana use among people with PD,” Dr. James Beck, chief scientific officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation, said in a statement in the announcement of the conference.
“Having worked as a clinician for the past decade in Colorado, a state at the forefront of medical marijuana use, it is clear that people with PD and their families are intensely interested in the potential of marijuana and cannabinoids in helping manage symptoms and other aspects of their disease,” he added. “To date, there is more hype than actual data to provide meaningful clinical information to patients with PD. There is a critical need to analyze existing data on medical marijuana and to set priorities for future research.”
The survey will be sent out to patients and both Zelira and the Parkinson’s Foundation will review the results to develop clinical trials for medical cannabis treatments for PD.
“Many people with Parkinson’s disease are seeking help with their symptoms by trying various forms of medical cannabis,” said John Lehr, president and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “The volume and frequency of questions Parkinson’s Foundation receive from people with Parkinson’s regarding the safety and impact of medical cannabis and CBD has led us to examine this public health issue more fully, and to seek collaborations with leaders in the field from academia, government, advocacy groups and industry to provide the most accurate information possible.”
“This effort is consistent with our focus on patients and our desire to provide them with as many treatment options as possible,” said Osagie Imasogie, Zelira’s founder and chairman.