Cannabis substitute may combat Parkinson's side effect
A drug that provides the benefits obtained from medicinal cannabis without the “high” or other side effects may help to unlock a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The drug – HU-308 – lessens devastating involuntary movements called dyskinesias, a side effect from years of treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The research, published in Neurobiology of Disease, has been conducted by the Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Applied Medical Research Institute of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney.
The study shows that in mice HU-308 is as effective as amantadine, the only available treatment for dyskinesias. Furthermore, the combination of HU-308 with amantadine is more effective than either drug used alone.
Professor Bryce Vissel, director of the CNRM and senior author of the study, said the findings present the possibility of new options for Parkinson’s patients.
“Our study suggests that a derivative of HU-308, either alone or in combination with amantadine, may be a more effective treatment for dyskinesias and a much better option than using an unproven potentially harmful substance like cannabis,” Professor Vissel said.
“Currently there is limited evidence about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis. One problem is that no cannabis preparation is the same and cannabis has numerous effects, some of which may not be beneficial in Parkinson’s disease.”
Cannabis works on several receptors in the brain – CB1 and CB2. The psychoactive effect is caused mostly because of receptor CB1.
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