Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Part of PTSD/Medical Marijuana Study May Have Home at UNLV

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Sue Sisley
  • Sue Sisley

While no announcement has been made by Arizona State University on if it plans to make a home for part of terminated UA researcher Sue Sisley's study on treating PTSD-suffering veterans with marijuana, over the weekend a story in The Las Vegas Review-Journal said University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is a possible destination.

Wow, what a concept. Nevada lawmakers, federal and state, are working to bring Sisley to Nevada and UNLV welcomes the research. Civilization and academic freedom—in Las Vegas.

H/T The Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Nevada’s state and federal lawmakers have been working to bring medical marijuana researcher Dr. Sue Sisley to the university to conduct a pilot study on the safety and efficacy of marijuana on veterans with chronic and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder.

While the study would be financially supported by sponsors and not receive any federal money, it has received all the federal approvals, said Sisley, who has been working on securing the study since 2011. She is hoping the university will provide the research space.

“That was a miracle in itself,” said Sisley of the potential early-phase drug development trial. “We had to hurdle four different obstacles to get to a point where we could actually research. It was a big achievement, and we were really close to getting implemented.”

She would study five different strains of marijuana that would be smoked or vaporized and inhaled by 70 veterans. The goal is to develop a marijuana drug in plant form approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It would be the first and only randomized controlled trial in the country looking at marijuana in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sisley’s desire to study medical marijuana’s impact grew out of her daily physician work with veterans suffering from PTSD at the University of Arizona’s medical school in Phoenix.

The study could be in association with the University of Denver and Johns Hopkins University medical schools through the University of Nevada, Las Vegas psychology department’s community health clinic program.


UNLV College of Liberal Arts Dean Christopher C. Hudgins said the health clinic program provides research and services to the community in collaboration with the College of Education’s counseling and educational psychology program.

“This would fit well within that if the psychology department agrees that this would be a good appointment,” said Hudgins, adding that the position would not receive any state money.

Sisley gave a presentation Sept. 22 to the psychology department’s faculty board about joining as a research faculty member.

The board will give its recommendation to Thomas Piechota, UNLV’s vice president for research and economic development.

Piechota said the university might take a little longer to review any potential offer because of its connection to medical marijuana.

“This type of research is certainly good research to be looking at inside the university,” Piechota said. “There’s so much unknown in terms of the effects of medical marijuana on these types of issues.”

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