This multicentre, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study looked at dronabinol, a cannabinoid which may have neuroprotective effects on progressive MS. The researchers recruited people with primary and secondary progressive MS aged between 18-65 years and randomly assigned them to receive dronabinol or placebo for 36 months. Primary outcomes were EDSS score progression and change from baseline in the physical impact subscale of the 29-item multiple sclerosis impact scale (MSIS-29-PHYS). 329 people received at least one dose of dronabinol and 164 received at least one dose of placebo. 145 people in the dronabinol group had EDSS score progression compared with 73 in the placebo group. The mean yearly change in MSIS-29-PHYS score was 0.62 in the dronabinol group versus 1.03 points in the placebo group. There were no serious safety concerns reported. The results show that dronabinol has no overall effect on the progressive phase of MS.
Authors: Zajicek J, Ball S
Source: Lancet Neurol. 2013 Jul 12. pii: S1474-4422(13)70159-5. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70159-5. [Epub ahead of print]
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