Does Parkinson’s Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Georgia?
Parkinson’s is a progressive nervous system disorder that causes stiff movement and involuntary tremors.
Parkinson’s reportedly ranks in the top 20 causes of death for Georgia, and the CDC reports Georgia as the 10th state with the highest deaths caused from Parkinson’s.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, treatment plans often include a combination of medications designed to prevent or reduce tremors and complications of the progressive disease.
Parkinson’s is approved as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Georgia.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that damages and eventually kills brain cells. The disease heavily impacts neurotransmitters that control movement and mood, leading to impaired coordination, muscle cramping, and tremors.
Parkinson’s can also cause difficulty with thinking and emotions, when the brain’s communication networks are impacted, regular cognitive function is limited.
As neurons die, they are not able to transmit signals efficiently through the brain, causing a range of symptoms that can impact many daily life activities.
This is possibly in part due to a dopamine deficiency, although scientists are still working out exactly how Parkinson’s starts and progresses, they assume it is likely a collection of neurons and neurotransmitters that are not working properly.
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What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s?
The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
Low blood pressure
Slowed or monotone speech
Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder, and it will worsen over time. Treatment plans typically include improving quality of life, reducing tremors and preventing complications. A host of dopaminergic medications are also often prescribed to replace depleted dopamine or prevent it’s depletion.
Can Medical Marijuana Help with Parkinson’s?
Many medical marijuana patients consume cannabis, and report that it can reduce tremors, boost mood, and improve quality of life. Studies also suggest cannabis may play a critical role with Parkinson’s specifically.
In a study conducted in 2014, researchers from Tel Aviv University studied 22 patients with Parkinson’s Disease and how cannabis use interacted with their condition. The study showed that after only 30 minutes, smoked cannabis was effective at relieving painful and debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Researchers also found in 2011 that cannabis has a preferable pharmacological profile for improving motor functions, at least in the case of rats with motor diseases.
Because of the promise cannabis is showing in medical research, Georgia has approved Parkinson’s as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
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