CWL will finance a research study on the efficacy of an integrative health approach to alleviate symptoms of dementia and more specifically Alzheimer’s disease.The purpose of this evaluation and research study is to collect relevant data on the performance of the Memory Lane intervention (memory-lane.tv) that will create a narrative of its effectiveness to alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms and measure its overall efficacy and capability to relieve some of the diseases’ symptoms. The evaluation is built on components that can be designed and implemented over time and proceed across the scale of rigor in experimental design from Key Informants to a Longitudinal Cohort study. Each component will be designed so that the results can contribute to the peer review literature, and inform the effectiveness of Memory Lane across a range of dimensions.
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The main components of the evaluation are Part 1 – Overall plan development; Part 2 – IRB approval; Part 3 – Key Informant project; Part 4 – Survey development, and Part 5 – Cohort Study design, implementation, analysis, synthesis and write-up.
Piper, B.J., DeKeuster, R. M., Beals, M.L., Cobb, C. M., Burchman, C. A., Perkinson, L., Lynn, S. T., Nichols, S. D., & Abess, A. T. (2017). Substitution of medical cannabis for pharmaceutical agents for pain, anxiety, and sleep. Journal of Psychopharmacology. (31:5), pp. 569 – 575.
A prior epidemiological study identified a reduction in opioid overdose deaths in US states that legalized medical cannabis (MC). One theory to explain this phenomenon is a potential substitution effect of MC for opioids. This study evaluated whether this substitution effect of MC for opioids also applies to other psychoactive medications. New England dispensary members (n = 1,513) completed an online survey about their medical history and MC experiences. Among respondents that regularly used opioids, over three-quarters (76.7%) indicated that they reduced their use since they started MC. This was significantly (p < 0.0001) greater than the patients that reduced their use of antidepressants (37.6%) or alcohol (42.0%). Approximately two-thirds of patients decreased their use of anti-anxiety (71.8%), migraine (66.7%), and sleep (65.2%) medications following MC which significantly (p < 0.0001) exceeded the reduction in antidepressants or alcohol use. The patient’s spouse, family, and other friends were more likely to know about their MC use than was their primary care provider. In conclusion, a majority of patients reported using less opioids as well as fewer medications to treat anxiety, migraines, and sleep after initiating MC. A smaller portion used less antidepressants or alcohol. Additional research is needed to corroborate these self-reported, retrospective, cross-sectional findings using other data sources.
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