Marijuana use may hurt thinking skills in MS patientsMarch 29th, 2011 - 11:30 am ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 29 (ANI): A Canadian research has revealed that any possible pain relief that marijuana has for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be outweighed by the drug’s apparent negative effect on thinking skills.
Some clinical trials have reported a mild benefit of marijuana on pain, bladder dysfunction and spasticity in MS, an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
The researchers studied two groups of 25 people each between the ages of 18 and 65 with MS. One group used marijuana and the other reported no marijuana use for many years.
Urine tests were used to confirm use or non-use of the drug. The groups were matched so there would not be significant differences due to age, gender, level of education, IQ before diagnosis, level of disability and duration of time with MS.
On average, the duration of marijuana use was 26 years. A total of 72 percent of users reported smoking marijuana on a daily basis while 24 percent reported weekly use and one person reported bi-weekly use.
Participants’ cognitive skills were tested. The research found that people who used marijuana performed significantly worse with respect to attention, speed of thinking, executive function and visual perception of spatial relationships between objects.
For example, on a sensitive test of information processing speed, those using marijuana scored approximately one third lower than non-users. Those who used marijuana were also twice as likely as non-users to be classified as globally cognitively impaired, defined as impairment on two or more aspects of intellectual functioning.
“Given that about 40 to 60 percent of MS patients have problems with cognitive function to begin with, any drug that may add to this burden is cause for concern,” said study author Anthony Feinstein, with Sunnybrook Health Services Center and the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
“This study provides empirical evidence that prolonged use of inhaled or ingested marijuana in MS patients is associated with poorer cognitive performance, and these effects have to be weighed against any possible benefit of using marijuana for medicinal purposes.”
The study has been published in the March 29, 2011, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (ANI)
- Ecstasy use does not decrease mental ability: Study - Feb 16, 2011
- Computers lower dementia risk - Sep 05, 2012
- Changes in walking speed could signal dementia - Jun 12, 2012
- Use of Paracetamol may double asthma risk in teens - Aug 14, 2010
- Dependency on marijuana damages intelligence, shows study - Aug 28, 2012
- Blood test to detect Alzheimer's disease in offing - Aug 10, 2012
- Why drunk drivers feel they are fit to get behind the wheel - Aug 18, 2010
- Blocking protein could halt debilitating brain disease - Apr 30, 2012
- Too much or too little sleep may accelerate cognitive aging by 4 to 7 years - May 02, 2011
- Brain size linked to early Alzheimer's risk - Dec 28, 2011
- Cold sore virus likely to cause brain abnormalities - Jun 01, 2010
- Neurons controlling hunger also drive drug addiction: Study - Jun 25, 2012
- Caffeine use may help overcome dry eye syndrome - Apr 19, 2012
- Steroid use may increase heart failure risk - Apr 28, 2010
- Treating high BP, cholesterol, diabetes may delay Alzheimer's - Apr 14, 2011
Tags: anthony feinstein, auto immune disease, bladder dysfunction, cognitive function, cognitive skills, daily basis, empirical evidence, health services center, ms patients, sclerosis ms, sensitive test, smoking marijuana, spasticity, spatial relationships, study author, sunnybrook, thinking skills, university of toronto, urine tests, visual perception