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Jul-08-2008 11:20printcomments

Marijuana Vs. Parkinsonism

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist. He is an expert in medical marijuana treatment.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I must say as a professional pharmacologist and physician I have given up being surprised when I read about marijuana being effective for yet another disease condition.

Parkinsonism affects about one percent of patients over 65 years old but there is a juvenile form as well.

I had a television program for about 5 years while I was helping patients get medical marijuana permits. My partner had a system through which he could get any article from anywhere on the computer about marijuana/cannabis.

One of the programs reported on marijuana for Parkinsonism from the Charles University in Prague, Checkoslovackia, that country's most prominent medical school.

Marijuana as folk medicine has been used in Eastern Europe for several hundred years. The peasants there probably know more about marijuana therapeutics than most American doctors.

I was intrigued by this medical report so I immediately turned on my computer. Sure enough there were many postings about marijuana vs. Parkinsonism. The strange thing was that some articles said marijuana had no effect against the tremors while some said it even caused tremors.

I had never heard this. As a matter of fact marijuana/cannabis is effective for Multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, Tourettes, possibly ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) and many other movement disorders. Why should it not be effective for Parkinsonism?

Getting back to Charles University, they had about two hundred Parkinsonism patients who theoretically had never used marijuana/cannabis. I scarcely believe that. They reported the effectiveness of marijuana/cannabis for Parkinsonism in the journal, Movement Disorders. I wasn't able to find the article or the details but it is effective for other movement disorders, so why not?

Dr. Tod Mikuriya reported marijuana/cannabis to be effective treatment for about 200 various disease processes. It shouldn't surprise anyone to add this to the list. I can hear, in my own mind, neurologists scratching their heads and howling," What's wrong with carbidopa except that it doesn't seem to work long-term?"

Indignant comments will be welcomed!

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More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.

Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Jim May 5, 2009 7:08 pm (Pacific time)

Well lets take a look at this abandoned child story a bit more closely. This was a 19 year old mother we are talking about. Already you should sense some problems here. The mere fact that she is a mother at 19 is a clear indicator of how irresponsible this woman is...before the pot. Her smoking marijuana has nothing to do with the child's disappearance, she was an irresponsible mother to begin with.

Springs Eternal July 14, 2008 10:36 pm (Pacific time)

It gets increasingly more difficult to see people like Bob respond to Science and Hope by trying to scare with "reefer madness" b.s. The medical marijuana prohibitionists know they've completely lost the Science Debate "hands down." So, now all they can do is stick to their old standard, FEAR. But the "Cat is Out of the Bag." We the People know the truth about Cannabis as Medicine, and we won't be spooked by hysteria or deterred by lies.

Bob - Molalla July 11, 2008 8:10 am (Pacific time)

Look at the wonderful things that Marijuana has brought into Sabrina Mills and her baby's life!!

KEIZER, Ore. -- A toddler was found wandering alone in a Keizer neighborhood and police said his 19-year-old mom didn’t even know he was gone, according to police.

Sabrina Mills as shown in a police mug shot.
A neighbor found the two-year-old boy Sunday morning and called police.

Officers knocked on doors in the neighborhood and also used a reverse phone system to call area homes, asking for help tracking down the mother of the boy, who they described in detail.

But Keizer police captain John Teague said it was the knocking on doors that eventually led them to the boy's mother.

He said Sabrina Mills was located within a block of where the toddler was found. Teague said Mills told officers she had smoked marijuana the night before and didn’t realize her son was gone or wake up to answer the door. Police estimated the child was gone at least four hours before Mills was made aware of it.

She was arrested and booked into Marion County jail on charges of second-degree child neglect and endangering the welfare of a minor. Mills is from Dallas, Ore.

The boy was placed in protective custody by Department of Human Services.

Teague said Mills did not have a criminal history that he was aware of.

Editor:  Yeah Bob?  Well I think you and the police are full of it.  Nobody walks around and abandons their baby because they smoked some pot.  That is stupid and I guarantee there is more than meets the eye to this story.  I have seen this time and time again; there is a hard drug, or alcohol, and the person gets busted and says "I used marijuana" to try to minimize their problem with the police.    More BS, I don't believe marijuana would ever cause this.  Of course there is always the possibility that screwed up people with mental issues use it, and that gives you guys some real ammo doesn't it? 

Hope July 9, 2008 2:03 pm (Pacific time)

"Pot May Ease Parkinson's Symptoms" - An article on the Czech study Dr. Leveque referenced, by Paula Moyer (written Tuesday 12 Nov 2002): "Nearly half of Parkinson's disease patients who have tried marijuana say the drug helped relieve their symptoms, according to a survey of patients with the degenerative neurological disorder. Dr. Evzin Ruzicka, an attending neurologist at Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic, reported the findings here at the Movement Disorders Society's Seventh International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders. Ruzicka is also a consultant at the Prague Movement Disorders Center. "It's difficult to directly study the medical effects of cannabis in the Czech Republic, where we conducted our research, because of its illegal status," Ruzicka told Reuters Health. [Studying cannabis' medical properties should be easier now that the Czech Republic High Court ruled that the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes is not a criminal offense this year.] "Therefore, we had to conduct anonymous surveys. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the effect of cannabis on Parkinson's disease, and our findings suggest it may alleviate some symptoms." Ruzicka and his colleagues chose to investigate marijuana's effects on Parkinson's disease after hearing from several patients that they had tried the drug and it had helped them. The investigators asked all patients who were treated for Parkinson's disease at their center to complete a questionnaire that asked about cannabis use and about several Parkinson's disease symptoms, including overall symptoms; tremor while at rest; bradykinesia, or slow movement; muscle rigidity; and dyskinesias, or involuntary movements. Dyskinesias are caused by levodopa, the mainstay medication in Parkinson's treatment. Among the 630 patients to whom the investigators sent questionnaires, 339 (54%) returned them. The responders' average age was about 66, and they had had Parkinson's disease for an average of roughly 9 years. Among the responders, 25% reported that they had used cannabis. Most had used it orally, either as fresh or dried leaves. Within this group, 39 patients (46%) reported that their Parkinson's disease symptoms in general were relieved after they started using cannabis. In terms of specific symptoms, 26 (31%) reported an improvement in tremor while at rest, and 38 (45%) experienced a relief of bradykinesia. Relief of muscle rigidity was reported by 32 (38%), and 12 (14%) said they had an improvement in levodopa-induced dyskinesias. The respondents reported that the improvement in symptoms occurred an average of 1.7 months after they had started using cannabis. Patients who used it for at least three months were more likely to experience symptom relief than those with shorter experience, the investigators reported. This delay between the beginning of cannabis use and the relief of symptoms made it unlikely that the respondents were having a placebo effect, Ruzicka said. A placebo effect can occur when the individual taking a treatment experiences a benefit even if the "treatment," such as a sugar pill, contains no active ingredients. They found no relationship between the length of cannabis use and the effect on involuntary movements. However, daily marijuana users reported more improvement in their dyskinesias than those using it less often. The investigators speculated that the effect of cannabis on Parkinson's disease symptoms may be due to interaction among cannabis, certain brain receptors that respond to cannabis and endogenous cannabinoids or cannabis-like substances within the body. He and colleagues plan to investigate a relationship between cannabis use and relief of Parkinson's disease symptoms by collaborating in further studies with investigators in the United Kingdom, Ruzicka told Reuters Health." END OF ARTICLE It's worth repeating that it took an average of 1.7 months after they had started using cannabis before patients noticed benefits; and patients who used it for at least three months were more likely to experience symptom relief than those with shorter experience. Patients should be aware that it might take a while to notice benefits. And here is a web address to the actual Czech study (cut and paste into browser and it should work): Tx again Dr Leveque!

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