Aged care residents in cannabis dementia trial

Cannabis dementia study: Notre Dame Uni seeks aged care residents for trial

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GREEN LIGHT: Notre Dame University's Institute for Health Research director Professor Jim Codde with chief investigator Dr Amanda Timler.

GREEN LIGHT: Notre Dame University's Institute for Health Research director Professor Jim Codde with chief investigator Dr Amanda Timler.

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Could medicinal cannabis hold the key to treating dementia?

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AGED CARE residents with dementia will be given medicinal cannabis to help treat the disease as part of a ground-breaking study.

Dementia sufferers worldwide could benefit from a new Western Australian study on the use of medical cannabis to treat symptoms of the degenerative condition.

Researchers at The University of Notre Dame are recruiting aged care residents to take part in the study.

The world-leading trial, aimed at improving the quality of life for thousands of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease sufferers, will be carried out by the university's Institute for Health Research in partnership with Israel-based company MGC Pharmaceuticals.

To be held over 14 months, the clinical trial will involve 50 participants - aged 65 years and older - with mild dementia who currently live in an accredited residential aged care facility. The trial got the green light in January this year from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Chief investigator Dr Amanda Timler said the trial will use medicinal cannabis in the form of an oral spray.

"We are using a 3:2 ratio of the two main compounds of cannabis- THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, (a psychoactive compound) and CBD - a non psychoactive compound which is important as it hold anti-inflammatory properties," said Dr Timler.

"We are hoping to see some improvements in the behavioural symptoms associated with dementia such as agitation, aggression, increase in appetite, improvements in sleeping patterns and greater quality of life and lower levels of pain."

Institute for Health Research director, Professor Jim Codde, said the aim of the study is to improve the quality of life for dementia and Alzheimer's suffers.

"Planning for the study has been incredibly extensive and involved other key stakeholders including medical experts, aged care practitioners and our ethics committee to ensure the well-being of participants throughout the study," said Professor Codde.

Dr Timler said the trial was in the initial stages of recruiting with a view to starting the trial by June.

  • Aged care facility managers who want to find out more, phone (08) 9433-0795.

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