Montel Williams: Living With Multiple Sclerosis
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Montel Williams: Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Montel Williams life With Multiple Sclerosis.

Montel Williams is a well-known television personality honored with the Emmy Award. He got more in focus after being hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera. The TV show aired as "The Montel Williams Show" (Montel) hosted by Williams, made him a popular icon in the public. Issues discussed by Williams frequently in this show include love, women and crimes against them, children and adoption. The disease of Multiple Sclerosis (or MS, see below) is also frequently discussed.

He was recently a spokesperson for the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) that helps poor people to get medicine for free or at a reduced price.

Montel was diagnosed with the disease of multiple sclerosis in the late 1990s. And after that episode, he founded the non-profit MS Foundation in an effort to help those people fighting against the same disease. He has been actively involved in helping the people suffering from MS, as well as a being an enthusiastic speaker on this issue.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune, chronic degenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). It is caused by damage to the nerve cells because of inflammation. The quality of life severely degrades in the people suffering with MS, and tragically, being an autoimmune disease, there is no known cure for it that can fully eradicate the disease in a person. MS is usually treated with corticosteroids that turn off the immune system, leaving behind the MS patient vulnerable to infection.

Our body produces cannabinoids, which instruct the receptors on immune cells to activate or deactivate themselves, so that the body knows when to fight an infection. In case people with MS, these receptors are forever on alert, and the body's immune system is in constant "attack" mode. Marijuana (or Cannabis) plant also contains cannabinoids that control the activation of the receptors present primarily on immune cells. Its extract is associated with long-term reductions in the neuropathic pain in MS patients. But the legal permission of using cannabis as medicine has been difficult to obtain.

n the recent years, health authorities in Canada, UK, Spain and New Zealand have permitted the prescription use of plant marijuana/cannabis extracts in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Approvals in the United States and in the European Union are still pending.

On Sunday, 7 August, 2011, the Israeli cabinet gave its consent to govern the supply of marijuana for medical and research purposes. In doing so, it clearly approved that marijuana does indeed have medical values.

Montel Williams, as being himself a victim of MS, said on Sunday he was impressed with Israel’s liberal attitude toward medical marijuana, and he believes the U.S. could learn a thing or two from the Jewish state. He is in Israel on a mission to learn about the practices of medicinal marijuana to relieve the pain caused by MS. In the course, he is meeting with legislators, scientists and physicians to find a legally approved solution to the usage of marijuana for this disease.

Montel strongly supports the use of Marijuana in reducing the pain associated with MS. Upon the recent Israeli decision, He told The Associated Press, "We need to get out of the dark ages and into the new ages, not every patient can use cannabis, but for those who can - why deny it?"

Itay Goor-Aryeh (Head, Pain Management Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Central Israel) says that in Israel, some doctors can prescribe Marijuana for pain relief, and provide them to patients. He added that marijuana prescription as a medicine is strictly regulated; and doctors prescribe it to patients because it has somewhat lesser side effects than other harmful drugs. He said "Those patients, if they do not get cannabis, they will get morphine-like drugs and other harmful drugs, I think that in many ways, cannabis is tolerated and is less addictive that morphine-based drugs".

16 U.S. states have legalized the use of medical marijuana to certain extent. However, critics say that certain dispensaries often conduits addicts and drugs.

Williams said that if a person wants to smoke, he won’t go through the lengthy bureaucratic process; instead he would prefer to just "go down the street."

Williams says he uses medical marijuana to reduce the pain of MS, but sees the requirement of a better distribution of the herb. He says, "For me, there is nothing else that can do what it does. It helps me suppress my pain; when I am not using cannabis I am thinking about my pain every 45 seconds". He stated that the drug has been "vilified to substantiate the false reason why it was banned in the first place". He hopes this drug would one day become a regular prescription drug. Addressing to Israel measures over medical marijuana, he said, "There are chemicals within that plant, and some of the leading science on where and how those chemicals work is being done right here in this country".

In Israel, there are currently about 6,000 patients who are treated with medical marijuana along with other medications; this has become so popular that it is estimated that this number could rise to 40,000 by the next 5 years. Currently, only private Israeli growers provide Medical marijuana to existing patients.

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