Advances in the Understanding and Management of Chronic Pain in Multiple Sclerosis: a Comprehensive Review

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system that can lead to severe physical, cognitive, and neurological deficits that often manifest in young adults. Central neuropathic pain is a common presenting symptom, often prompting patients to seek treatment with opioids, NSAIDS, antiepileptics, and antidepressants despite minimal effectiveness and alarming side-effect profiles. Additionally, spasticity occurs in more than 80% of MS patients and is an important consideration for further study in treatment. As MS symptoms are frequently unremitting and poorly responsive to conventional medical management, recent attention has been given to novel interventions for management of pain. Among these, medicinal cannabis therapy, targeted physical therapy, and neuromodulation offer promising results.

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Plant-Based Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Chronic neuropathic pain is a prevalent condition that places a heavy burden on individuals and the healthcare system. Current medications have limitations and new approaches are needed, particularly given the current opioid crisis. There is some clinical evidence that the plant Cannabis sativa produces relief from neuropathic pain. This animal data suggests that cannabidiol and low dose nabiximols warrant consideration for clinical studies, at least as adjuvants to current drugs. Preclinical research is also required to identify other phytocannabinoids that have therapeutic potential.

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Advances in the Understanding and Management of Chronic Pain in Multiple Sclerosis: a Comprehensive Review

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system that can lead to severe physical, cognitive, and neurological deficits that often manifest in young adults. Central neuropathic pain is a common presenting symptom, often prompting patients to seek treatment with opioids, NSAIDS, antiepileptics, and antidepressants despite minimal effectiveness and alarming side-effect profiles. Additionally, spasticity occurs in more than 80% of MS patients and is an important consideration for further study in treatment.

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Prescribing medical cannabis in Canada: Are we being too cautious?

There has been much recent discussion and debate surrounding cannabis in Canada, including the prescribing of medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Certain commentators – including the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – have denounced the prescribing of cannabis for medical purposes due to a perceived lack of evidence related to the drug’s efficacy, harms, and mechanism of action. In this commentary, we present arguments in favour of prescribing medical cannabis in Canada.

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