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Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the potential of cannabinoid receptor stimulation in the treatment of dystonia

Authors

  • Susan H. Fox MRCP, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, United Kingdom
    • Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ, UK
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  • Mark Kellett MRCP,

    1. Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Neurology, Hope Hospital, Stott Lane, Salford, Manchester M6 7HD, UK
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  • A. Peter Moore MRCP, MD,

    1. Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, United Kingdom
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  • Alan R. Crossman DSc,

    1. Manchester Movement Disorders Laboratory, Division of Neuroscience, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, and Motac Neuroscience Ltd., Manchester Incubator Building, Manchester, United Kingdom
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  • Jonathan M. Brotchie PhD

    1. Manchester Movement Disorders Laboratory, Division of Neuroscience, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, and Motac Neuroscience Ltd., Manchester Incubator Building, Manchester, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Cannabis may have medicinal uses in a variety of diseases. The neural mechanisms underlying dystonia involve abnormalities within the basal ganglia—in particular, overactivity of the lateral globus pallidus (GPl). Cannabinoid receptors are located presynaptically on GABA terminals within the GPi, where their activation reduces GABA reuptake. Cannabinoid receptor stimulation may thus reduce overactivity of the GPl and thereby reduce dystonia. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover study using the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist nabilone in patients with generalised and segmental primary dystonia showed no significant reduction in dystonia following treatment with nabilone. © 2001 Movement Disorder Society.

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