Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

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.

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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