Thursday September 2 7:53 AM ET
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch teaching hospital said Thursday it would shortly start a study on the usefulness of cannabis to help multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers.
"There are indications cannabis products can contribute to the alleviation of complaints and symptoms which can occur with patients suffering from MS," the Free University hospital said in a statement.
MS is a chronic and often painful degenerative disease of the central nervous system whose symptoms range from fatigue to loss of motor skills, impaired vision and paralysis.
Although some five percent of MS patients regularly use cannabis, there has hardly been any medical research on its effectiveness, the hospital said.
The study will compare the safety, tolerance, and efficiency of two cannabis products in capsules against placebos on 16 MS sufferers over 20 weeks.
Results are not likely to be published before next year.