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Cannabis Extracts May Control Seizures in Children with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

The administration of oral cannabis extracts is associated with the mitigation of seizures in adolescents with epilepsy, according to clinical data published this month in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

Researchers from the Colorado Children’s Hospital in Denver performed a retrospective chart review of 75 children who had been provided with cannabis extracts. The authors reported that 57 percent of the subjects showed some level of improvement in seizure control, while 33 percent reported a greater than 50 percent reduction in seizure frequency.

Researchers also reported “improved behavior/alertness” in one-third of subjects and improved motor skills in 10 percent of treated patients. Adverse events were reported in 44 percent of subjects, 13 percent of which reported increased seizure activity. Overall, however, authors concluded that the extracts were “well tolerated by children.”

Separate clinical trial results publicized last week at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology reported that the administration of a proprietary form of CBD (cannabidiol) extracts decreased seizure frequency by 54 percent over a 12-week period in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Survey data compiled by Stanford University in 2013 reported that the administration of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis decreased seizures in 16 out of 19 patients with pediatric epilepsy.

Last February, the Epilepsy Foundation of America enacted a resolution in support of the “rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana.”

An abstract of the study, “Parental reporting of response to oral cannabis extracts for treatment of refractory epilepsy,” can be read online here.

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