Views From The Leaf

The Summit Releaf Blog

Parkinson’s Disease

March 2, 2020

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease, also known just as Parkinson’s, is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which primarily affects the body’s motor system. As the disease begins to worsen, non-motor symptoms become more common. Parkinson’s symptoms usually emerge very slowly, and early in the disease the most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Along with these symptoms, thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. In more advanced stages of the disease, dementia becomes more common. Also, depression and anxiety are common as these occur in more than a third of people with Parkinson’s. Collectively, the main motor symptoms that occur with Parkinson’s are called “parkinsonism”, or a “parkinsonian syndrome”.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. However, it is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Individuals with a family history of the disease are much more likely to get the disease themselves. There is also an increased risk in individuals with prior head injuries. However, there is a reduced risk for tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea. What causes the majority of symptoms in Parkinson’s results from large scale cell death in the substantia nigra, a region in the midbrain. When this cell death occurs, the result is not enough dopamine in this region of the brain. What causes cell death is not completely understood, but it involves the build-up of proteins into Lewy bodies in the neurons. Neuroimaging is the best possible tool for diagnosing Parkinson’s, yet being aware of the major symptoms is just as efficient.

Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. The medical treatment for Parkinson’s focuses on improving the symptoms of the disease. Initial treatment is typical with antiparkinson medication, followed by dopamine agonists when the antiparkinson medication becomes less effective. Non-medical interventions include diet and some forms of rehabilitation, which have shown some effectiveness in improving symptoms.

In 2015, PD affected 6.2 million people and resulted in about 117,400 deaths globally. Parkinson’s disease typically occurs in people over the age of 60, of whom about one percent are affected. Males are more often affected than females at a ratio of around 3:2. When it is seen in people before the age of 50, it is called early-onset PD. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is between 7 and 15 years. The disease is named after the English doctor James Parkinson, who published the first detailed description in An Essay on the Shaking Palsy, in 1817. Public awareness campaigns include World Parkinson’s Day (on the birthday of James Parkinson, 11 April) and the use of a red tulip as the symbol of the disease.

In surveys, patients with Parkinson’s report cannabis to be highly efficacious at mitigating disease symptoms, particularly in the treatment of non-motor symptoms. In one trial, researchers reported that inhaled cannabis was associated with “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed.” In another trial, investigators reported that cannabis inhalation – both short-term and long-term – was associated with improved pain relief.

Parkinson’s disease is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Ohio and patients that suffer from this diagnosis can come to Summit Releaf for a consultation to obtain their Ohio marijuana card. At Summit Releaf, we make it as easy as possible to obtain your Ohio marijuana card, by offering discounts to those members of our community who receive social security or are US veterans that served honorably. The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf provides this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.