Avner Thaler1, Shira Arad1, Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider4, Judith Knaani1, Tali Taichman1, Nir Giladi1,2,3, Tanya Gurevich1,2,3
1Movement Disorders Unit, Neurological Institute, Tel-Aviv Medical Center, Israel; 2Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; 3Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; 4Tikun Olam Research Department, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome experience reduced function and impaired quality of life. The current medical treatments for this syndrome can cause significant side effects and offer partial symptomatic relief. In a few small trials medical cannabis has been suggested to offer symptomatic relief with a relatively benign side effect profile. The aim of this study, conducted in collaboration with the Sourasky Tel Aviv Medical Center, was to assess whether there is a clinical benefit in medical cannabis treatment and the side effects in Tourette patients who use medical cannabis regularly.
STUDY POPULATION: 42 Tourette patients (33 males, mean age 34.5).
- 42 patients (76.1%) remained in active treatment.
- Overall improvement – the score for the clinical condition assessment questionnaire was 3.85 out of 5 possible points (1- no change/worsening, 5- significant improvement/complete remission of symptoms), indicating a positive response to medical cannabis.
- Improvement in tics – Patients reported a decrease in the severity of tics.
- Improved quality of life – Patients reported better sleep and improved mood.
- Except for one patient who experienced psychosis, the side effects were relatively mild and controllable.