It is estimated that roughly 0.5-1% of the world’s population has been diagnosed with some level of Tourette Syndrome, although the actual rate of people suffering from the condition could be greater due to gaps in identification and treatment in some parts of the world.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden, repetitive, rapid, and unwanted movements or vocal sounds called tics.” Currently, there is no cure for the condition.
Various treatments for Tourette Syndrome exist, with common ones being dopamine blockers, Botox injections, ADHD medications, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure medications. Everyone of those treatments can yield possible side effects. Fortunately, a recent study in Israel found that cannabis may help. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Tel Aviv, Israel: Tourette syndrome (TS) patients’ who consume cannabis products report significant improvements in their quality of life and reduce their intake of prescription medicines, according to data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Israeli researchers assessed patients’ symptoms immediately prior to and following six months of cannabis treatment. Study participants generally inhaled THC-dominant cannabis flowers, though some patients also consumed extract formulations.
Researchers reported, “A statistically significant improvement in quality of life, employment status, and [a] reduction in the number of medications was found, with a statistically significant number of patients reporting improvements in OCD and anxiety symptoms after six months of treatment.” The authors also identified improvements in motor and vocal tic severity, but they acknowledged that these changes were not statistically significant.
Few patients reported experiencing adverse effects from cannabis treatment. Most commonly reported side effects were dry mouth, dizziness, and fatigue.
“Our findings suggest that medical cannabis may be an effective and safe option to improve comorbidities and quality of life in TS patients,” authors concluded. “Medical cannabis effectiveness should be further evaluated in large-scale randomized clinical trials.”
Full text of the study, “Use of medical cannabis in patients with Gilles de la Tourette’s Syndrome in a real-world setting, appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Additional information on cannabis and TS is available from NORML.