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Marijuana Use in Youth with Multiple Sclerosis

J Neurology; ePub 2017 Dec 22; Brenton, et al

Youth with multiple sclerosis (MS) endorse recreational marijuana as safe, and many use marijuana frequently despite appreciating a negative impact on memory, a recent study found. Researchers surveyed 52 consecutive pediatric-onset MS patients from 3 pediatric MS centers in the US. Participants answered a structured questionnaire to capture attitudes toward marijuana and personal use habits, if present. They found:

  • Nearly half reported use of marijuana, with the majority beginning to use in mid-to-late adolescence.
  • The most popular reasons for using marijuana were relaxation (72%), improvement of medical problems (64%), and stress reduction (52%).
  • Over half (64%) of marijuana users perceived it to have negative effects on memory and focus.
  • Cost and access were not barriers to use, despite all respondents being less than age 21.
Citation:

Brenton JN, Schreiner T, Karoscik K, et al. Attitudes, perceptions, and use of marijuana in youth with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print December 22, 2017]. J Neurology. doi:10.1007/s00415-017-8715-5.

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