Exploring the Impact of Cannabis-Based Treatments on ADHD: Insights from UK Research
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stands out as one of the prevalent neurodevelopmental conditions diagnosed in individuals, typically identified during the teenage years and often extending into adult life.
A comprehensive study conducted in 2021 shed light on the global impact of this condition, revealing that the ongoing prevalence of ADHD in adults was 2.58%, while the rate for those exhibiting symptoms was notably higher at 6.76%. This translates into a significant number, with approximately 139.84 million adults facing persistent ADHD and an even larger group of 366.33 million grappling with its symptoms worldwide in the year 2020.
In an effort to delve deeper into potential treatments, a group of UK-based researchers affiliated with several academic institutions embarked on a study to assess the effects of cannabis consumption on the life quality of individuals suffering from ADHD.
The primary aim of this research was to evaluate the impact of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to gauge the safety of these treatments for ADHD patients. This was done by analyzing data from participants registered in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. The study meticulously tracked changes in specific patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), including the EQ-5D-5L index (a measure of health status), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire scores, and the single-item sleep quality score (SQS), over intervals of 1, 3, 6, and 12 months from the start of the treatment. Additionally, the occurrence of any adverse events was closely monitored, with statistical significance set at p < 0.050.
It's important to contextualize this study within the framework of the UK's medical cannabis program, which is known to be more restrictive than those of many other countries. This factor is crucial when considering the implications of research conducted using data from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry.
The findings of this study were promising, indicating significant improvements in the general health-related quality of life, as measured by the EQ-5D-5L index, at 1, 3, and 6 months, with statistical significance. Improvements were also observed in the GAD-7 and SQS scores across all measured time points (1, 3, 6, and 12 months), with p-values less than 0.010. Despite these positive outcomes, the study noted that 61 adverse events were reported by 11 participants (16.18% of the sample), with the majority being of moderate severity.
In summary, the research highlighted a positive correlation between the treatment with CBMPs and enhancements in anxiety management, sleep quality, and overall health-related quality of life in ADHD patients. The treatments were generally well-received and tolerated over a 12-month period, suggesting a viable therapeutic avenue for individuals with ADHD, within the context of a carefully regulated medical framework.
Source: International CBC