CBD oil is all the rage these days, with many people claiming it’s a wonder drug for certain chronic medical conditions, including cancer, dementia, high blood pressure and other illnesses. While cannabinoid — a naturally occurring ingredient in the marijuana plant — does have several benefits, including anxiety relief, stress reduction, pain management and inflammation reduction, the research is still out on its use for many medical conditions. One condition some people wonder about is athetosis.
What Is Athetosis?
Athetosis is a condition in which a person experiences involuntary writing movements. Though the movements may look different in different patients, they are typically continuous and slow. The involuntary movements may make it difficult for afflicted persons to maintain a stable posture or sit still for long. When a person does try to control his or her actions, the symptoms tend to grow worse. With athetosis, the same parts of the body are afflicted. Those typically include the arms, feet and hands, though the tongue, face, neck and trunk can be involved, too.
What Are the Symptoms of Athetosis?
The most obvious symptom of athetosis is involuntary bodily movements. However, to distinguish between the symptoms of athetosis and, say, Parkinson’s disease or seizure disorders, an afflicted person should pay attention to the types of movements he or she experiences. Those common with athetosis include the following:
- Random and unpredictable changes in muscle movement
- Slow, writing and involuntary muscle movement
- The worsening of symptoms when trying to control movements
- Difficulty talking or the inability to stand
It is also not uncommon for a patient to experience “muscle overflow.” For instance, when he or she tries to move an arm, a leg might want to join in, or when or she tries to talk, the whole body may experience involuntary activity.
What Causes Athetosis?
In most cases, athetosis is the result of complications at birth. The most common complications that result in the condition include jaundice and asphyxia (which may occur when a baby gets stuck in the birth canal for too long). However, it may also develop after a stroke, as the result of drug toxicity or be a symptom of neurological disease. Neurological diseases that cause involuntary muscle movement include cerebral palsy and basal ganglia diseases.
What Are the Treatments for Athetosis and Can CBD Oil Help?
To date, the most effective treatments for athetosis and other diseases that are characterized by involuntary muscle movement include botox injections, physical therapy and prescription medications. While research is being done regarding the use of CBD oil and cannabis to control involuntary muscle movements, there is currently no evidence that shows either can help with athetosis. However, that does not mean that CBD as a treatment will not be available in the future.