Apr 25, 2017 02:05 PM EDT
Cannabidiol, a medicine with cannabis content, but none of its psychoactive properties, is seen an effective treatment for people with severe epilepsy. A study on its efficacy will be presented this week at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston. Researchers found out that this molecule from cannabis could effectively cut by 50 percent epilepsy seizures being experienced by those suffering from severe epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
LGS usually begin in childhood and those who experience drop seizures collapse. Both the drop and tonic-clonic seizures are characterized by full convulsions of the body and loss of consciousness. These seizures are not easily controlled even by medications. However, the effectivity of cannabidiol in the reduction of epilepsy seizures could be a breakthrough.
The study noted that around 40 percent of people with childhood LGS who took the cannabidiol in a liquid form reduced their epilepsy
seizures by 50 percent, according to Science Daily. Those who took the placebo reduced the seizures by 15 percent. The result of the study is very significant considering that most LGS drop seizures usually mean an emergency hospitalization.
"Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control," author Anup Patel of the Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus said.
The random study involved 225 people who experience 85 drop seizures every month on the average. The patients have tried at least six drugs to control their epilepsy seizure. Aside from their regular medications, they were given either 20 mg/kg of cannabidiol every day or 10 mg/kg of cannabidiol or a placebo every day. Epilepsy patients given the higher medication dose experienced a reduction in their seizures.
Many people are pushing for the use of cannabis to treat patients with severe epilepsy seizures. Take for example the case of eight-year-old Charlotte Figi from Colorado who has been suffering from rare epilepsy known as the Dravet syndrome, according to Scientific American. Her seizures were reportedly reduced after she used medical marijuana. The new study has proven that even patients who do not respond well to other treatments could find solace in cannabidiol.
A group of doctors at the New York University's Langone Medical Center led by Orrin Devinsky also conducted research on the effectivity of cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy seizures. The study, published in "The Lancet Neurology", is one of the most reliable assessments of the effects of cannabidiol on epilepsy.
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