BY LIZETTE BORRELI
A proof-of-concept clinical trial suggests an oral cannabis spray may ameliorate spasticity and pain in people with motor neuron disease, according to a report published online on December 13 in The Lancet Neurology.
Current treatments for spasticity in motor neuron diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), include baclofen, dantrolene, and benzodiazepines, However, the study authors noted, these therapies have not been found to be wholly effective for improving spasticity, and the drugs are associated with undesirable side effects, such as muscle weakness or fatigue.
In CANALS (Cannabis Sativa Extract in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other Motor Neuron Disease), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 clinical trial, researchers found 55 percent of patients treated with nabiximols mouth spray (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) reported overall improvements in spasticity and pain, compared with 13 percent in the placebo group.
Nabiximols was well-tolerated; the side effects ranged from mild to moderate with a profile