Canadian-American actor Michael J Fox is best known for his portrayal as Marty McFly in the Back To The Future trilogy, but is now semi-retired. Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease aged just 29, Fox began to suffer more and more as symptoms developed – and just 7 years later, he went public with his condition to help promote education, research and understanding into the disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition whereby the brain becomes damaged over time as it loses nerve cells in a part of the brain called the ‘substantia nigra’. It’s not clear or proven what causes this loss, but it reduces the amount of dopamine in the brain, which regulates the movement of the body. The effects, therefore, include the involuntary shaking of limbs, a loss of balance, slow movement, a loss of the sense of smell and inflexible muscles and joints.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are treatments available to manage the symptoms of it. It is as part of this treatment management program that many consider the use of CBD for Parkinson’s disease: and Michael J Fox is one of these people.
There have been several studies into the use of CBD for Parkinson’s treatment, but there’s still a way to go with clinical trials. It seems that CBD oil raises the levels of dopamine in the body naturally, without the harmful side effects that pharmaceutical interventions to do the same thing often present. Raised dopamine allows Parkinson’s sufferers greater mobility, less involuntary shaking and muscle seizures, and less pain around sore and tender joints.
As Parkinson’s is gradually debilitating and can be an extremely slow burner in terms of negatively affecting patient’s quality of life, it’s easy to understand how sufferers can feel low in mood and experience great stress. CBD has been shown to increase mood levels and ease anxieties, giving those suffering a welcome respite from the stresses and strains their condition brings.
Deciding to get better involved with the medical community, Fox founded the Michael J Fox Foundation, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. It’s the largest non-profit foundation researching Parkinson’s in the world, and has invested over $650 million to date into clinical studies. This has included some small studies into the use of CBD for treatment of Parkinson’s symptoms; but not too greatly, as of course the foundation is seeking a cure, and not a management tool.
Michael himself uses CBD oil and related products to treat the complications and side effects of his Parkinson’s disease, allowing him to continue on with his hectic schedule of both running a large charity and taking part in occasional acting and personal appearances.
If you are suffering from Parkinson’s or know someone who is, be sure to refer them to Fox’s Foundation for an unrivaled amount of information and resources.