Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Involuntary shaking of body parts (tremors), slow movement, stiff and inflexible muscles, balance issues, sleeping problems, memory problems and a loss of smell (anosmis) are all associated with Parkinson’s, which is a progressive neurological condition that causes an inability for the body to regulate itself properly. Parkinson’s Disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called substantia nigra, which leads to a reduction of dopamine production in the brain.

As dopamine plays a vital role in the regulation of movement, dopamine precursors such as carbidopa and levodopa (L-DOPA) are often prescribed. There is no known cause of Parkinson’s disease, although genetic and environmental factors are both implicated. Head injuries may also play a part in the development of Parkinson’s. There are around 1 million sufferers and approximately 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s are diagnosed each year in the United States. Parkinson’s usually starts to take effect in those aged 60 or older, although younger people can develop it, too.

Cannabis may help with Parkinson’s, as both THC and CBD increase dopamine production. Cannabis can also help prevent any shakes, as well as relax stiff and inflexible muscles. Unfortunately, due to the memory problems often present in those with Parkinson’s, care must be taken with regards to THC in particular, which can potentially worsen short-term memory problems.

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