Understanding the Use of Medical Cannabis for Movement Disorders: Saar Anis, MD


Following his presentation at the MDS Society Virtual Congress 2021, the neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center discussed his views on the use of medical cannabis. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“Medical cannabis, at this moment, is a field with a lot of problems…There are a few studies published this year about the use of cannabis for Parkinson disease patients, from the US, from Germany, and we see that big numbers of patients—even 50%, 60% of patients—are using cannabis at some point. So, as doctors, we’re behind. We still don’t know what we need to say to our patients, how to guide our patients to use [cannabis], and we have problems with the side effects of the treatment.”

Data from a small prospective study on the use of medical cannabis (MC) for patients with dystonia were presented at The International Parkinson and Movement Disorders (MDS) Society Virtual Congress 2021, September 17-22, concluding that MC treatment seemed to improve symptoms and associated pain. Additionally, it was found that patients who smoked MC had significantly higher improvement in dystonia symptoms, reporting up to 80% improvement, whereas those who consumed MC through sublingual oil, reported a 20% improvement. 

Saar Anis, MD, neurologist and movement disorders specialist, Movement Disorders Institute, neurology department, Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center, Israel, presented findings at MDS 2021, later speaking with NeurologyLive about the use of MC for this patient population, noting the importance of additional research into dosing and titration of treatment. Additionally, specialists in the movement disorders space should understand the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of MC, just as they would with other medications. 

For more coverage of MDS 2021, click here.

Anis S, Faust-Socher D, Sverdlov D, Hezi N, Giladi N, Gurevich T. A real-life study of Medical Cannabis effect on adults with dystonia. Presented at MDS Congress 2021; September 17-22; Virtual. Poster 93.
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