Last updated on: 2/19/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Gregory T. Carter, MD Biography

Title:
Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and Co-director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“There are really no other medications that have the same mechanisms of action as marijuana. Dronabinol (Marinol) is available by prescription in capsules, but has the distinct disadvantage of containing only synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is only one of many therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids in the natural plant. Interestingly, it is the most psychoactive of the cannabinoids and is the one that the Federal government allows to be prescribed!

Cannabinoids are now known to have the capacity for neuromodulation, via direct, receptor-based mechanisms, at numerous levels within the nervous system. These provide therapeutic properties that may be applicable to the treatment of neurological disorders, including anti-oxidative, neuroprotective effects, analgesia, anti-inflammatory actions, immunomodulation, modulation of glial cells and tumor growth regulation. Beyond that, the cannabinoids have also been shown to be remarkably safe with no potential for overdose.”

Article posted on the MDA website, Oct. 2003

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-director, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center
  • Clinical Professor, School of Medicine at the University of Washington, 1994-present
  • Listed in Castle Connolly Medical Ltd’s “America’s Top Doctors,” 2007
  • Recipient, Excellence in Clinical Care Award, Muscular Dystrophy Association, 2002
  • Recipient, Excellence in Research Writing Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 1998
  • Recipient, Best Research Paper Published by a Physiatrist Award, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Teaches residents and medical students in neuromuscular disease and electrodiagnostic clinics
  • Former Fellow, neuromuscular disease research
  • Education:
  • Residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Center, University of California, Davis
  • MD, Loyola University of Chicago
  • MS, Physiology, University of California, Davis
  • BS, Physiology, University of California, Davis
  • Other:
  • Clinical interests are in the rehabilitation management of neuromuscular disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Research is funded by both the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the National Institutes of Health in projects studying the relationship between pain and disability in neuromuscular disease
  • Quoted in:
    1. Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Severe / Chronic Pain?