THC May Improve Driving Ability in Patients with Neurological Diseases

6/21/2011 by Jahan Marcu – Since 2001, Dr. Kirsten Muller-Vahl and colleagues have published research articles demonstrating the safety of Delta9-THC in patients with Tourette’s Syndrome. This is a disease characterized by involuntary movement and vocalizations (a.k.a. tics).  In 2003, the authors showed that, “Delta9-THC causes neither acute nor long-term cognitive deficits” in patients suffering from Tourette’s.
Recently this group of clinical researchers published a Letter to the Editor of Psychiatry Research outlining their findings in a Tourette’s patient given 15mg of delta9-THC per day.  The authors measured the patient’s driving ability with a computerized test and compared it to the patients performance with and without delta9-THC. The author’s state, “In comparison with the drug-free phase (of the treatment), there was a clear improvement in concentration and visual perception during THC therapy.”
The patient, a 42 year old truck driver referred to as Mr.H, first displayed symptoms of this disease at age 6. When he appeared at the clinic for this study he was suffering from multiple tics of the head, arm and leg: Not good symptoms to have for a truck driver. Furthermore, Mr.H’s medical history showed that all available drug treatments were ineffective including dopamine blocking agents, alpha-2 drugs, clonazepam, and terabenazine. Within 2 weeks of delta9-THC treatment Mr.H’s symptoms were reduced by 75%.
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