Research on new drug from raw cannabis psychosis

Dutch schizophrenia researchers get 24 million euros from the European pot. Psychiatrists Rene Kahn (UMC Utrecht) and Jim van Os (Maastricht UMC) will each get twelve million. Kahn is looking for a new drug against an element of psychosis from cannabis.

Kahn’s research psychiatrist wants an “aggressive treatment approach” to develop, he says. “There must be a clear protocol for the symptoms of the disease as quickly as possible to eliminate: A medicine four weeks, if that fails, six weeks drug B, which is not medicine C.”

Now the different treatment by psychiatrists, says Kahn. “If a drug fails the psychiatrist may decide to look for a while. But how long should he wait? The psychiatrist may also choose to switch medication. What medicine can he choose? This is still unknown. I find that very remarkable, especially considering that antipsychotia existence since 1955. For other diseases like cancer and depression are those protocols there. Imagine that your cancer without some guidelines would wait to see what does and does not catch on. ”

Furthermore, Kahn and his international research studies a potential new drug substance with cannabidiol. This is one of the ingredients of cannabis. “That may seem contradictory, because cannabis is said to cause psychosis,” says Kahn. “The substance THC in cannabis could actually cause psychosis, but cannabidiol, this effect prevents it.”

Effective than antipsychotics
German research on the effects of cannabidiol previously showed that antipsychotic drugs like the drug counteracts the psychotic symptoms. “Cannabidiol works in the brains but in a different way than antipsychotics, so it gives fewer side effects. The plea is more bearable than the heavy antipsychotics, “says Kahn. “Antipsychotic drugs also work mainly against the delusions and hallucinations, but take other symptoms such as lethargy and loss of energy barely away. Cannabidiol also seems effective against such symptoms are. “The German investigation was a small exploratory management survey, so far-reaching conclusions could be drawn, Kahn stressed. “The European grant money that we explore further, along with the German investigators.”

Kahn wants to pay attention to the structure of the brains of schizophrenia and the usefulness of a brain scan after a first psychosis. In addition, he is the compliance under the microscope. In that study, he examines what factors may influence to prevent the patient to stop his medication. The group of psychiatrist Jim van Os examines the causes of schizophrenia. Van Os with particular focus on the influence of genes and environment. The trials will start this year and run until 2015. (CS)

Read the file Adieu schizophrenia? In Psy 11/2009

Click here for more information on the substance cannabidiol


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