Research in US shows that cannabis compound may halve seizures for patients with severe epilepsy

Posted Apr 19 2017 in Other treatments

Researchers from the Ohio State University have found that individuals with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) who took cannabidiol every day for 14 weeks saw the frequency of atonic seizures fall by more than 50 percent.

LGS is one of the most severe forms of epilepsy. The condition involves multiple types of seizures, including tonic, atonic, atypical absence, and myoclonic. Atonic seizures, also known as drop seizures, involve a sudden, brief loss of muscle tone.

Study co-author Dr. Anup Patel, of the College of Medicine at Ohio State, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th annual meeting, held in Boston, MA.

There is no cure for LGS, and the condition is extremely challenging to treat, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Anti-epileptic medications, such as valproate and lamotrigine, can help to control seizures, but many children who initially respond to such drugs develop tolerance to them later on.

However, the new study from Dr. Patel and colleagues suggests that cannabidiol may be a promising treatment strategy for LGS, after finding that the cannabis compound more than halved atonic seizure frequency in patients with the condition.

“Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures. This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat.  While there were more side effects for those taking cannabidiol, they were mostly well-tolerated. I believe that it may become an important new treatment option for these patients.”
Dr. Anup Patel

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