Aphasia Sufferers Desperately Seek Help and Cannabis Could Be the Answer

Medical studies reveal that strokes are increasingly hitting an ever-younger swath of the population, and for a significant number of those afflicted, one of the unfortunate residues is aphasia.

Blood entering the brain during the stroke essentially short-circuits some of the brain’s function, leaving the patient’s ability to speak compromised. Aphasia doesn’t impact intelligence, but aphasia does attack speaking, understanding the speech of others in addition to reading and writing.

‘On the tip of my tongue’

Known by some as the “on the tip of my tongue” phenomenon, aphasia is an easy route to daily frustration. The patient knows what he or she wants to say, what the word(s) in question mean and even what the word or phrase sounds like generally. But the words just don’t come easily to the tongue.

It’s a condition that generally is treated by speech therapy and aphasia community centers around the country, but it seems that the addition of cannabis to the treatment plan may have long-term benefits.  

Study from England ‘Shows Promise’

A study that came out of the UK suggests that cannabis may help to reduce brain damage after a stroke. Cannabinoids that are found in the plant as well as those that can be made artificially and those that are found naturally in the body can also help.  

Cannabis Study – Brain Damage From Stroke

The research group from the University of Nottingham, presented their results to the United Kingdom Stroke Forum in 2015. They examined 94 different studies that have been conducted on the effects of cannabis on 1,022 male rats, mice or monkeys.

According to the Huffington Post, the authors of the study said the chemical “shows promise as a neuro-protective treatment for stroke.”

Dr. Dale Webb, the director of research and information at the UK Stroke Association, welcomed the news, saying “stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the UK, with more than half of all stroke survivors left dependent on others for everyday activities.”

Aphasia From Stroke

Even so, the cannabis findings regarding stroke and aphasia aren’t written in stone. The complex nature of the brain, experts say, calls for more research to see if the same impacts on the laboratory animals are the same when the subjects are human.  

Research Moves On to the Next Phase

“This meta-analysis of pre-clinical stroke studies provides valuable information on the existing, and importantly, missing data on the use of cannabinoids as a potential treatment for stroke patients,” lead author Dr. Tim England, honorary consultant stroke physician at the University of Nottingham and Royal Derby Hospital, said.

“The data are guiding the next steps in experimental stroke treatment in order to be able to progress onto initial safety assessments in a clinical trial.”

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