Dementia sufferers worldwide could benefit from a new study in Western Australia, examining the use of medical cannabis to relieve their symptoms and distress.
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Institute for Health Research (IHR) – in partnership with Israel-based pharmaceutical company MGC Pharmaceuticals – have recently embarked on the ground-breaking study aimed at improving the quality of life for thousands of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers.
MGC Pharmaceuticals is a leading biopharmaceutical company focussed on advancing medical cannabis research globally with operations in Israel, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and Australia as well as research partnerships with a number of universities.
To be held over 14 months, the clinical trial will involve 50 participants – aged 65 years and older – with mild dementia who currently live in an accredited residential aged care facility.
The Phase IIB clinical trial – using MCG’s proprietary CogniCann medicinal cannabis — got the green light in January this year from the Federal Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Professor Jim Codde, Director of the Institute for Health Research, said the aim of the study was to improve the quality of life for dementia and Alzheimer’s suffers by freeing them from a range of agitation and psychotic symptoms that comes with the disease and often impact on their families and loved ones.
“Planning for the study has been incredibly extensive and involved other key stakeholders including medical experts, aged care practitioners and our ethics committee to ensure the well-being of participants throughout the study,” Prof Codde explained.
Professor Greg Blatch, UNDA Pro Vice Chancellor Research, said the study reflects the University’s focus on ground-breaking, collaborative research that makes a real difference to local, national and international communities.
“Notre Dame’s health and medical research has been rated well above the world standard and is underpinned by strong partnerships with industry,” Prof Blatch stated.