Huntington’s Disease in New York
Recent studies show that medicinal cannabis can help those who suffer from the symptoms of Huntington’s disease.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a hereditary, degenerative brain disorder for which there is no present cure. Huntington’s disease is a devastating disease that slowly diminishes an affected person’s ability to reason, walk, or talk. People who suffer from Huntington’s disease may also experience involuntary extreme twitching movements. Along with an eventual decline in reasoning ability, those suffering from the disease are likely to experience a change in personality. It is believed that more than 250,000 Americans are affected or are “at risk” for inheriting the disease. People with the adult-onset form of Huntington’s disease may live about 15 to 20 years after the onset of signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of Huntington’s Disease
Some early symptoms of the disease, which tend to develop in stages, include the following:
- Slight changes in coordination which can make a person look clumsy
- Fidgety movements that are uncontrollable
- Stiffness and diminishing motor skills
- Difficulty thinking through problems or reasoning
- Irritability and growing signs of depression
The more advanced stages of the disease reveal symptoms that begin to interfere with everyday life. These symptoms include increased difficulty swallowing or speaking. A person may also begin to drop things or to fall unexpectedly. These symptoms are easily recognized.
In the final stages of Huntington’s, a person will have digressed to the point of total dependence on others. It is impossible to walk, speak, or control their bodily functions.
Children or teens suffering from Huntington’s may experience degenerative symptoms more quickly through changes in speech, difficulty walking, and trouble learning new skills or retaining old information.
Medical Marijuana as Part of a Huntington’s Disease Treatment Plan
Though there is no known cure for Huntington’s disease, recent science is pointing to cannabis as an effective treatment for the disease.An animal study published in Brain in 2011 reveals that cannabinoid receptors may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.
There is also new evidence that cannabinoids have the potential to work as neuroprotectants through processes such as improvement of the function of the mitochondria and reduction of inflammation to clear cellular debris and, therefore, may be useful in the treatment of Huntington’s disease.
Research on Huntington’s Disease and Cannabis Based Treatments
For more information on medicinal cannabis being used to treat Huntington’s disease, please click on the following links:
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