This is the third in our series on medical marijuana for bipolar. In the first piece , we made a conditional case for marijuana to treat bipolar, with some major provisos. The second piece compared the risk/benefits of medical marijuana with prescription drugs.
In this installment, we look at the endocannabis system that marijuana acts upon.
Endocannabinoids (ECs) are naturally occurring compounds throughout the brain and body that regulate cellular signaling and cellular maintenance. They function in a similar fashion to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, except they travel backward, against the flow, from the postsynaptic cell to the presynaptic cell.
At the presynaptic cell, the ECs dock to CR1 and CR2 cannabinoid receptors and release their chemical messages. One of the effects may be to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters from the presynaptic cell back to the postsynaptic cell.
In effect, the postsynaptic cell restricts the f...
Tremor, or uncontrolled shaking, is a highly disabling symptom of multiple sclerosis which is often associated with a more advanced disease course. Tremor, an involuntary, rhythmic, muscle movement caused by repetitive contraction and relaxation of paired muscle groups, has long been recognized as a feature of MS. The French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) categorized it with nystagmus and scanning speech (Rascol, 1982).
A study published in the open-access journal Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements reviewed recent advancements in the understanding of tremors in MS. The review explores the prevalence and clinical features of tremors in MS, including physical cause of tremors, and treatment methods, including surgery and/or prescription medications.
Reviewers searched MEDLINE with the terms “multiple sclerosis” and “tremor,” published between January 1966 and May 2012. My own search revealed articles dati...
What is the nervous system designed to do? Nerves make the arms and legs move. Nerves make the heart beat and the lungs breathe. Ultimately, the entire nervous system is designed to keep the body alive. That is its most primal function. If a lion is chasing, the body runs. If the hand touches something hot, it jerks away. Just like a built-in alarm system, this system of nerves will alert the body to danger and trigger automatic protective responses. Normally, this system works beautifully and life is preserved well into adulthood.
However, in some cases, this alarm system goes haywire. For example, some people are born with the inability to feel pain , a condition called the congenital insensitivity to pain . That condition is not a blessing, but a curse that leads to insurmountable body damage and a premature death. The nervous system can go haywire in other ways too. What happens if this alarm system is too sensitive? Now instead of feeling no pain, one is left to feel too muc...
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