STUDY: Medical cannabis for Alzheimer’s patients is “safe and a promising treatment option.”

Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: An-Open Label, Add-On, Pilot Study.

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Jan 12.

Shelef A1, Barak Y1, Berger U2, Paleacu D1, Tadger S1, Plopsky I1, Baruch Y1.
  • 1Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat-Yam, Israel and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
  • 2Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

OBJECTIVE:NCAN_Medical-Condition-Graphics-02

To measure efficacy and safety of medical cannabis oil (MCO) containing THC as an add-on to pharmacotherapy, in relieving behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

METHODS:

Eleven AD patients were recruited to an open label, 4 weeks, prospective trial.

RESULTS:

Ten patients completed the trial. Significant reduction in CGI severity score (6.5 to 5.7; p <  0.01) and NPI score were recorded (44.4 to 12.8; p <  0.01). NPI domains of significant decrease were: Delusions, agitation/aggression, irritability, apathy, and sleep and caregiver distress.

CONCLUSION:

Adding MCO to AD patients’ pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; cannabis; tetrahydrocannabinol