Can cannabinoids be a potential therapeutic tool in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Neural Regen Res. 2016 Dec;11(12):1896-1899. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.197125.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron system. Over the last years, a growing interest was aimed to discovery new innovative and safer therapeutic approaches in the ALS treatment. In this context, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in preclinical models of central nervous system disease. However, most of the studies proving the ability of cannabinoids in delay disease progression and prolong survival in ALS were performed in animal model, whereas the few clinical trials that investigated cannabinoids-based medicines were focused only on the alleviation of ALS-related symptoms, not on the control of disease progression. The aim of this report was to provide a short but important overview of evidences that are useful to better characterize the efficacy as well as the molecular pathways modulated by cannabinoids.

Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cannabinoids; clinical trials; experimental ALS model; mechanisms of neuroprotection; symptomatic ALS treatment.

Publication types

  • Review