ALS – also known as amytrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehring’s Disease – is a nervous system disorder that causes muscle weakness and reduced physical function. As the disease progresses, nerve cells break down, making it difficult to move and control affected muscles.
About 6,000 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year. In a population of 4.3 million, the size of the Phoenix metro area, you can reasonably expect to find dozens of people who suffer from ALS. The ALS Association maintains a chapter in Arizona.
Experts believe about 15,000 Americans have ALS at any given time.
ALS Treatment and Quality of Life
Millions of patients use medical cannabis in Arizona to help them with conditions like ALS. Sadly, no treatment now known can reverse the progress of ALS or stop it completely. Instead, treatment is aimed at slowing the disease and providing greater function and quality of life.
For the time being, most ALS patients are treated with riluzole, also known by the brand name Rilutek. It helps protect motor nerve cells by reducing the concentration of glutamate in the body. Glutamate helps nerves communicate, but can cause damage in high concentrations.
The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.
Promising research is being conducted on new treatments. In fact, the first new FDA-approved drug for ALS to hit the market in decades – called Radicava – should become available in August 2017. It is expected to significantly slow the decline of physical function.
How Medical Cannabis Helps with ALS
As ALS progresses, patients experience pain in the affected muscles and limbs. By using medical marijuana (MMJ), they can reduce the pain and maintain certain basic functions for a longer period of time. MMJ is often used alongside conventional treatments.
Most ALS patients use medical marijuana on a daily basis. It can be applied directly to areas of pain using a topical treatment. In the later stages of the disease, most patients experience greater relief by smoking their treatment, either in the morning or evening.
Arizona Organix stands alone as the first state-licensed MMJ dispensary in Arizona. We believe in helping each patient get the treatment that will work best with a wide selection of high-quality MMJ strains in a variety of different forms. We welcome both new and experienced patients to visit us any time.
To find out more, contact the team at Arizona Organix.