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|Title||Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for night-time agitation in severe dementia|
|Author(s)||Walther S, Mahlberg R, Eichmann U, Kunz D|
|Journal, Volume, Issue||Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2006;185(4):524-8.|
|Major outcome(s)||Reduction in night-time agitation in actigraphy and in the neuropsychiatric inventory NPI|
RATIONALE: Nighttime agitation occurs frequently in patients with dementia and represents the number one burden on caregivers today. Current treatment options are few and limited due to substantial side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to measure the effect of the cannabinoid dronabinol on nocturnal motor activity. METHODS: In an open-label pilot study, six consecutive patients in the late stages of dementia and suffering from circadian and behavioral disturbances-five patients with Alzheimer's disease and one patient with vascular dementia-were treated with 2.5 mg dronabinol daily for 2 weeks. Motor activity was measured objectively using actigraphy. RESULTS: Compared to baseline, dronabinol led to a reduction in nocturnal motor activity (P=0.028). These findings were corroborated by improvements in Neuropsychiatric Inventory total score (P=0.027) as well as in subscores for agitation, aberrant motor, and nighttime behaviors (P<0.05). No side effects were observed. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that dronabinol was able to reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation in severely demented patients. Thus, it appears that dronabinol may be a safe new treatment option for behavioral and circadian disturbances in dementia.
|Dose(s)||1 x 2,5 mg|
|Duration (days)||14 days|
|Participants||6 patients with severe dementia and agitation/circadian dist|
|Type of publication||Medical journal|
|Address of author(s)||Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charite Mitte (PUK), Berlin, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org|