Parkinson’s UK has announced plans for a clinical trial, assessing the effects of a high concentration of CBD on Parkinson’s-related symptoms. The partnership with King’s Colledge London will test the safety, benefits, and efficacy of a CBD-based oil in treating Parkinson’s-related psychosis.
The charity will invest £1.2 million in the study, which is set to start at the beginning of next year. Around half of the 145,000 Parkinson’s patients in the UK are thought to suffer from symptoms of psychosis.
The most common psychosis symptoms associated with Parkinson’s are hallucinations and delusions. The trial will be the first large-scale study that will aim to supply preliminary evidence for CBD as a potential medication.
The trial will employ 120 Parkinson’s patients. Half of the participants will be given CBD capsules, and the other half will be given placebos. The results from both groups will be analysed through testing and brain imaging, to provide the first preliminary evidence in the area.
Dr. Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said:
“If successful, this trial could result in people with Parkinson’s being able to access a regulated medicine, rather than reverting to expensive and unregulated supplements that haven’t been monitored for their effectiveness.”
Psychosis-related symptoms are most commonly thought to be linked to current Parkinson’s treatments. The symptoms are typically managed by removing the treatment which is being used. However, if symptoms persist, patients may be provided with antipsychotic medications, which can worsen other symptoms of the disease.
Despite the large proportion of sufferers in the UK, there are no registered medications for the treatment of Parkinson’s-related psychosis. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is due to release its final recommendations on Cannabis-based medications, next month.
Cannabidiol is a Cannabis-derivative which has been found to have benefits in treating a number of conditions and symptoms. Currently, the only CBD medication licensed in the UK is Epidiolex, which is used as a treatment for rare forms of Epilepsy.