Mark Pieloch’s Work Provides Hope for Patients with Glaucoma
During his studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Mark Pieloch focused his thesis research on the effects of Delta 9 THC on patients with progressive or chronic glaucoma. Delta 9 THC is the active ingredient in medical marijuana and is frequently prescribed for patients suffering from increases in intraocular pressure (IOP) due to the effects of glaucoma. Pieloch’s thesis dealt with the effects of Delta 9 THC compounds on glaucoma in rabbits in the laboratory setting.
Glaucoma is a serious condition that can result in loss of vision and damage to the optic nerve. It occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye and restricts the flow of blood and fluid in this delicate area. Glaucoma is a common side effect of diabetes and is more common in older individuals and those with a family history of the disease. It can also be caused by serious eye infections, injuries and inflammatory conditions. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness.
The effectiveness of Delta 9 THC and medicinal marijuana in treating glaucoma continues to be a topic of some controversy in the medical community. Medical marijuana typically provides relief from IOP for approximately three to four hours when smoked or taken internally. Researchers have not yet identified the mechanism by which Delta 9 THC produces these results. Other pharmaceutical remedies can produce similar results for some patients. However, the use of medical marijuana where it has been legalized can provide added help for those affected by this serious physical condition.