Wednesday 26th June 2002
There is renewed hope today for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis in the South West as the MS Society has agreed to take another look at funding further clinical trials of cannabis.
Researchers are looking at how the drug can alleviate the symptoms of MS. They are led by a consultant at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
Nearly 700 sufferers of MS are taking part in the cannabis trials nationwide, with 99 volunteers being in Plymouth.
The programme, which is being led by Dr John Zajicek, began two-and-a-half years ago and has been funded by the British Medical Research Council.
MS patients have difficulty controlling their limbs, have muscle spasms, pain, and tire very easily. However, patients can only stay on the programme of drugs for 12 months.
Dr Zajicek had asked the MS Society for £150,000 to pay to have patients on the programme until it finishes at the end of this year.
The BBC reported it had turned the application down last week. The society has now asked the doctor to re-submit his application and has promised to make a decision as soon as possible.
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