Cannabis Provides Symptom Relief for Patients with Tourette’s Syndrome

This week, KannAInsight features an assessment of the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis for patients with Tourette’s Syndrome.

Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder that involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (“tics”) that are difficult to control. Generally, Tourette’s often lessens with age. However, some individuals have persistently severe symptoms throughout adulthood that require treatment. Current treatments options may cause significant side effects and only offer partial symptomatic relief for some individuals. Recently, some evidence has emerged that medical cannabis may provide symptomatic relief for patients with Tourette’s Syndrome. 

In a recent small study, patients treated with medical cannabis were interviewed regarding safety and efficacy from chronic consumption. Approximately, half the patients were treated with cannabis in addition to their regularly prescribed treatment. Notably, nearly 100% of all participants reported improved sleep and mood, as well as reduced tic severity. Adverse events included hallucinations, irritability and confusion, subjective cognitive decline, as well as increased appetite, dry eyes, and fatigue. 

The results of this study suggest that medical cannabis hold promise in the treatment Tourette’s Syndrome. Indeed, several states (most recently Pennsylvania) have approved Tourette’s Syndrome as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana treatment. However, clinical research is necessary to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of medical cannabis for patients with Tourette’s Syndrome

Citation: Thaler A, Arad S, Schleider LB, Knaani J, Taichman T, Giladi N, Gurevich T. Single center experience with medical cannabis in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2019 Apr; 61: 211-213. 

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