For an MS Patient, Drug Makes All The Difference

For an MS Patient, Drug Makes All The Difference
Posted by CN Staff on February 14, 2008 at 05:58:51 PT
By Fran Wood
Source: Star-Ledger
NJ -- If New Jersey doesn't become the 13th state to legalize medicinal marijuana, it won't be for lack of effort by Scott Ward. Ward has multiple sclerosis. He discovered some time ago that the only medication that did anything for his condition was marijuana -- and he resents having to break the law to have something that approximates a normal quality of life.
Now 24, Ward was diagnosed in November 2006, just six months after graduating with high honors from Rutgers. "I was training for a marathon, and I began to experience some double vision when I was running," he says, citing a symptom common at the onset of MS. MS, which typically strikes adults 20 to 40, is a chronic degenerative disease of the central ner vous system, causing nerve inflam mation, muscular weakness and erosion of motor coordination. It can cause permanent disability and, in some cases, death. There is no known cure. Ward, who had been planning to apply to law school, first took a variety of medications prescribed by his neurologist. But he found the side effects intolerable. "I went downhill very quickly," he says. "I remember going to Washington, D.C., for an interview with the State Department, and after my 10-hour interview, I was in terrible pain. I'd had a headache for two weeks, but now I was vomiting up everything I ate, and I was having terrible trouble with my left leg. "I was staying at a friend's house, and he said he could ar range to get me some marijuana, that he'd heard it brought relief to many people with MS." Ward had tried marijuana only once -- "I ate it, and I thought it was awful and knew I'd never try it again." But now nothing else was working, so he gave it a try. "It was amazing," he recalls. "My two-week headache went away, I could eat and I could walk. I didn't have any pain. I felt like I was normal again." When Ward returned home to New Jersey, he didn't have access to marijuana, and his symptoms re turned. "In December, I was in bed for five days," he says. "I couldn't get out of bed or eat. My little brother had to carry me around the house." He consulted a doctor at Johns Hopkins -- "who is supposed to be the end-all and be-all authority on MS" -- and reported the side ef fects he experienced from standard medication and his experience with marijuana. Snipped:Complete Article: Sam AdamsSource: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)Author: Fran WoodPublished: Wednesday, February 13, 2008Copyright: 2008 Newark Morning Ledger Co.Contact: eletters starledger.comWebsite: Medical Marijuna Archives
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Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on February 14, 2008 at 18:39:56 PT
try the drug policy alliance,new jersey full article said he is a member.
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Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on February 14, 2008 at 16:50:44 PT
I need
to get in touch with this guy..........couldn't find a myspace. I remember a New Jersey site last go'around with a bill in NJ.
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Comment #2 posted by aolbites on February 14, 2008 at 11:25:17 PT
Marijuana Impairs Cognitive Function In MSPatients Marijuana Impairs Cognitive Function In MS Patients, Study ShowsScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2008) — People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoke marijuana are more likely to have emotional and memory problems, according to new research.-=snip=-or the study, researchers interviewed 140 Canadian people with MS. Of those, 10 people had smoked marijuana within the last month and were defined as current marijuana users. The marijuana users were then each matched by age, sex, the length of time they had MS, and other factors to four people with MS who did not smoke marijuana.The researchers then evaluated the participants for emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. They also tested the participants' thinking skills, speed at processing information, and memory.The study found marijuana smokers performed 50 percent slower on tests of information processing speed compared to MS patients who did not smoke marijuana. There was also a significant association between smoking marijuana and emotional problems such as depression and anxiety.People with MS have higher rates of depression and suicide compared to the general population. "Since marijuana can induce psychosis and anxiety in healthy people, we felt it was especially important to look at its effects on people with MS," Feinstein said.This research was published February 13, 2008, in the online edition of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.Adapted from materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.-=snip=-abstract: Prohibitionist BS. 
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Comment #1 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 14, 2008 at 06:21:37 PT:
Marijuana-based Drug Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain
Newswise — Patients with fibromyalgia treated with a synthetic form of marijuana, nabilone, showed significant reductions in pain and anxiety in a first-of-its-kind study, published in The Journal of Pain .Fibromyalgia syndrome has no cure, is difficult to diagnose, and effective pain management strategies are a must to help patients cope with the disease. An estimated 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia, which is characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain and myriad other symptoms. The condition is far more prevalent in women and the incidence increases with age, reaching 7 percent among women 65 years and older.
complete article
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