CBD and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease was first described nearly 200 years ago. Its discoverer, James Parkinson, initially called it “postictal tremor”, which was based on the observed symptoms. Although we know a lot about it, it turns out that science has not yet said the last word in the search for modern solutions in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. With help comes CBD, or cannabidiol – a compound naturally occurring in our environment.
Parkinson’s disease – what is worth knowing about it?
Parkinson’s disease belongs to the group of neurodegenerative diseases – just like Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive and chronic condition. The first symptoms usually appear around the age of 60, although it is not unusual for the disease to appear much earlier. It is estimated there are up to 70 thousand people living with this disease, and worldwide the problem affects up to 6 million patients. As it is commonly known, Parkinson’s disease significantly decreases quality of life and hinders everyday functioning.
Therefore, it is worth remembering that properly selected therapy gives a chance for better control of annoying symptoms.
From a pathophysiological point of view, Parkinson’s disease develops as a result of destruction of cells in the central nervous system (black matter of the midbrain). As a result of their degeneration, the concentration of dopamine – a neurotransmitter belonging to the catecholamine group – decreases.
As a consequence of the disruption of normal dopamine levels, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are characteristic. These symptoms include resting tremor, increased muscle tension, motor retardation (bradykinesia), postural abnormalities, altered facial expressions, as well as salivation or constipation. It is also important to note that non-motor symptoms are common in Parkinson’s disease, such as psychiatric disorders and sleep difficulties. As mentioned earlier, the disease is progressive, with symptoms increasing in intensity as the disease progresses.
CBD and Parkinson’s disease
Despite the development of medicine and related sciences, it is not possible to completely cure Parkinson’s disease. However, there are effective methods to effectively mitigate its course – for many patients, this is a chance to function efficiently despite the progressive disease. Apart from treatment or pharmacological methods, based on synthetic compounds, it is also possible to use natural preparations, which include cannabinoids. One of them is CBD extracted from medicinal hemp.
It is also worth mentioning that the use of some pharmacological agents is associated with the risk of side effects. This results in the need to modify the applied treatment. This type of risk does not occur with the use of natural CBD.
In the case of Parkinson’s disease, CBD works very well for, among other things, not only motor disorders. Its effects also apply to mental abnormalities or sleep disorders, among others. According to a study conducted on a group of patients (almost 340 people), the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease brought improvement also in the area of movement disorders – such as resting tremor, motor slowdown (bradykinesia) or motor rigidity. Not without significance is also the positive effect of CBD on the reduction of pain sensations, which, regardless of the type of disease, positively affect the quality of life of patients.
According to researchers, CBD also has a significant neuroprotective effect, counteracting phenomena such as oxidative stress, excitotoxicity and neurodegeneration – particularly important issues from the point of view of the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease.
CBD oil in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Newer and newer insights into the mechanisms by which cannabinoids work, make their use in alternative or adjunctive therapy in Parkinson’s disease find their way into 21st century medicine. Expanding therapeutic options allows more patients to be helped. CBD comes in an easy to ingest form – known as CBD oil, so patients don’t need third-party help in administering therapeutic agents.
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