News at the 2005 ICRS Conference
This year’s conference of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) was held on 24-27 June in Clearwater, Florida. About 300 scientists attended the meeting. Some abstracts are presented in brief below.
Neuropathic pain: Preliminary results of a randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 50 patients with HIV-related peripheral neuropathy who received either smoked cannabis or placebo-cannabis were presented. In the study conducted at the University of California cannabis was shown to provide pain relief comparable to Gabapentin, the most widely used treatment for a condition that afflicts some 30 per cent of patients with HIV. (Abstract by D. Abrams et al.)
Schizophrenia: Results of a four-week double-blind clinical trial on cannabidiol and amisulpride in acute schizophrenia were presented by researchers of the University of Cologne. Cannabidiol significantly reduced psychopathological symptoms of acute psychosis after both, week two and four, when compared to the initial status. There was no significant difference in efficacy between cannabidiol and amisulpride. However, cannabidiol caused significantly less side effects than the other drug. (Abstract by M. Leweke et al.)
Withdrawal: Abrupt interruption of one year of treatment with the cannabis extract Sativex was not associated with a withdrawal syndrome or serious withdrawal symptoms in 25 patients with multiple sclerosis. About half of the patients experienced symptoms previously reported in connection with withdrawal from regular use of recreational cannabis. (Abstract by E. Russo & P. Robson)
CB2 receptor in the brain: Research in mice was presented that demonstrated the presence of the CB2 receptor in the brain. Their number was enhanced by chronic mild stress (CMS). These results suggest that CB2 receptors are expressed in the mammalian brain and may play a role in depression. (Abstract by E. Onaivi et al.)
(5) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): A synthetic cannabinoid (AM1241) that selectively binds to the CB2 receptor was shown to slow disease progression in a mouse model of ALS. Loss of motor function was delayed by 12.5 days in male mice and by 3 days in female mice. (Abstract by M. Abood et al.)
(Source: Reader of the 2005 ICRS meeting, www.cannabinoidsociety.org