Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a variety of neurological conditions that impairs muscle coordination and affects body movement. Approximately 50,000 Canadians are living with CP, but the number could be greater as milder forms of the condition often go undiagnosed.
Common Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy impacts each individual differently, but common symptoms include:
- muscle stiffness and tightening leading to spasm (referred to as spasticity)
- difficulty with motor skills (including walking and running)
- involuntary movement and poor coordination
- difficulties learning, hearing and speaking.
Although CP is considered a non-progressive condition, the injury to the brain that causes symptoms can lead to significant pain, impairing quality of life.
Treatment Options: Managing CP Symptoms
There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but a variety of treatments exist to manage the condition.
Physical therapy helps patients improve mobility and gain independence. In some more serious cases, orthopedic surgery is an option to help lengthen tendons, helping patients move with more ease.
But what about treatments that help relieve pain and reduce spasticity? Exciting research is emerging that supports a natural anti-inflammatory and pain management option: cannabis.
Benefits of Medical Cannabis for CP: Exciting Research
Since cerebral palsy results from injury to the developing brain, patients are commonly diagnosed at infancy and childhood. A recent study published in the Journal of Child Neurology boasted positive benefits of treating young patients with movement disorders using medical cannabis. Improvements to sleep along with relief of pain and reduction of spasticity were reported.
Another exciting study was completed in 2016 by GW Pharmaceuticals. The company conducted a clinical trial using cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare form of childhood epilepsy. During the trial, a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures occurred. This is a major milestone for patients dealing with CP, as approximately 30-50% of children with cerebral palsy will experience co-occurring epilepsy during their lifetime.
In a 2011 survey conducted on adults living with CP, cannabis was mentioned as an effective pain reliever. 83 participants took part in the questionnaire, and 23 different types of pain management and medications were put to the test. From ice to acupuncture to opioids, all common treatment options were listed. Researchers discovered that medical marijuana was rated as providing the most pain relief.
Our Calgary and Edmonton medical cannabis clinics have seen the analgesic properties of cannabis. If you would like to learn more about our endocannabinoid system and how are body modulates pain using cannabinoids, please read our previous article on how medical cannabis manages arthritis pain.
Cannabis for Cerebral Palsy: Visit our Calgary and Edmonton medical cannabis clinics
Your appointment is free and covered by Alberta Health Services. Before your medical consultation with one of our licensed physicians, our Cann-Experts will educate you on how medical cannabis works in our body and how it reacts to our endocannabinoid system.
During your education session with a Cann-Expert, you will learn:
- The main differences between an Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strain
- Benefits of THC, CBD, and Balanced strains
- The body’s unique Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)
- The timing of inhalation vs ingestion
At the time of your consultation, your Revolution Medical Cannabis doctor will review your medical history and ensure that cannabis will not conflict with any medications you’re currently taking.
Our Calgary and Edmonton medical cannabis prescribing doctors can help prescribe a cerebral palsy management plan that may help you or your child with managing CP symptoms. Our team will guide you in selecting a licensed cannabis producer as well as the registration.
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