Medicinal cannabis user Nichola Smith spoke at Taranaki’s first Brain Symposium on the weekend.
Medical marijuana was one topic discussed at Taranaki’s first Brain Health symposium on Saturday.
The event, open to anyone with a neurological disease, attracted 120 people to hear from experts on topics ranging from medical marijuana use to neurological physiotherapy.
It was hosted by Multiple Sclerosis Taranaki and had the theme ‘Time Matters’ because time is critical to prevent unnecessary brain damage, Taranaki MS President, Graham Walker said.
The organisation is pushing to have a resident neurologist at Taranaki Base Hospital to prevent delays before seeing a specialist, which can lead to further brain damage.
More than 4000 people live with MS in New Zealand, and outside of main centres they are not getting the care they deserved, he said.
Based on population, Taranaki should have at least one neurologist who could also treat patients with Parkinson’s, Muscular Dystrophy and Motor Neurone Disease.
Walker said specialist neurological physiotherapy and psychological support was also lacking.