According to a statement on the website of the University of Copenhagen, which is based on a new study published in Nature Neuroscience, medical cannabis may prove useful in reducing essential tremors.
What is an essential tremor?
Essential tremor is a condition involving an involuntary tremor that usually affects the upper limbs and the head. This tremor occurs in particular positions or when you try to keep your hands or arms in a position that goes against the force of gravity. As explained by Jean-François Perrier, a researcher in the Department of Neuroscience of the aforementioned university and one of the authors of the study, these voluntary tremors can be very inhibiting and can reduce the quality of life of those who suffer from them.
Cannabinoid can counteract essential tremor
The researchers found that the cannabinoid WIN55,212 by injecting the spinal cord can activate local astrocytes, prompting them to produce adenosine, a substance that can reduce nervous activity and therefore this unwanted agitation. The experiments were done on mice.
Spinal cord and motor neurons
The spinal cord is an area that is responsible for many of the movements of the human body, both voluntary and non-voluntary ones. The movements are activated by motor neurons, particular neurons present in the spinal cord that connect the latter with the muscles. Motor neurons send impulses to the muscles and initiate contraction and therefore movement.
According to Eva Carlsen, another researcher involved in the study, one might think in the future of using medical cannabis for this type of agitation: «The use of this approach will avoid influencing the neurons of the brain responsible for our memory and cognitive abilities. and we would be able to offer patients suffering from involuntary tremor effective treatment without exposing them to any of the more problematic side effects of medical cannabis. «