THC Effective In Tourette-Syndrome

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IACM-Bulletin of 31 March 2002
A clinical study conducted at the Medical School of Hannover (Germany) and published in the current issue of Pharmacopsychiatry demonstrated that a single dose of THC reduces symptoms of Tourette-Syndrome.

Under the guidance of Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl 12 adult TS patients received THC (5, 7.5 or 10 mg) in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. Patients received either a single dose of oral THC first or placebo first on two days separated by 4 weeks before they were crossed over to receive the other treatment.

THC resulted in a significant improvement of symptoms. At the end of the study nine patients assessed the THC treatment day overall more positive than the placebo day. Three patients experienced the placebo day more positive. No serious adverse reactions occurred. Blood pressure and pulse did not change significantly. Five patients experienced mild adverse reactions, lasting 1 to 6 hours. There was a significant correlation between tic improvement and maximum blood plasma concentration of 11-OH-THC.

Gilles de la Tourette-Syndrome (Tourette-Syndrome, TS) is a complex neurological disorder characterized by multiple motor tics (sudden movements) and one or more vocal tics. Another six-week- study with 24 patients that has been completed in the meantime confirmed the results of this earlier study.

(Sources: Mueller-Vahl K, et al. Treatment of Tourette-Syndrome with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): a randomized crossover trial. Pharmacopsychiatry, April 2002. Personal communication of Kirsten Mueller-Vahl)