to a three-month
clinical trial published by The Lancet, people with Lennox-Gastaut
syndrome—a severe and lifelong form of childhood-onset epilepsy—who had
previously been proven to be resistant to conventional treatments, were found
to have showed positive effects from cannabis-based treatment
trail reduced the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients, with just 10%
previously shown to respond to conventional drug treatments. The authors
however, said that the efficacy and safety of utilizing this new treatment
"now needs to be confirmed".
is an urgent need for novel treatment options for patients with Lennox-Gastaut
syndrome, and we are pleased that our study has potentially found an additional
option to add to patients’ existing treatment to reduce drop seizures,” said Dr
Elizabeth Thiele of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and lead author of the
added that, the application of cannabidiol—with existing products such as CBD crystals—as a form of
treatment in epilepsy patients, can be used alongside other conventional
results suggest that the use of cannabidiol as an add-on therapy with other
anti-epilepsy drugs might significantly reduce the frequency of drop seizures
in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome," Thiele said.
"This is positive news for these
patients, who often do not respond to treatment."
study was conducted on 171 patients between the ages of 2 and 55 from the US,
the Netherlands and Poland—all displaying a variety of seizures in the past six
months. Also, the patients had all proven highly resistant to conventional
were each administered a pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol (CBD), or a
placebo, via a 50:50 split on a daily basis.
the conclusion of the trial, drops seizures which are caused by a lack of
muscle tone, had significantly reduced in patients treated with cannabidiol by
43.9%, while there was a 21.8% decline for those taking the placebo.
in the cannabidiol group also saw a higher reduction in other seizures, with
overall reductions of 41.2% compared with 13.7% for the placebo group.
62% of the cannabidiol group also showed side effects from the treatment,
ranging from the very mild to the more serious, including diarrhoea, fever,
drowsiness and vomiting.
most such side effects were found to have been resolved during the trial.
many years without promise of new treatments in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, this
is an exciting time for patients and clinicians,” said Dr Sophia Varadkar of
the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.
group of researchers, enrolled children with Dravet syndrome—a very rare and
often deadly form of epilepsy caused by a genetic mutation. These children
exhibited multiple, prolonged seizures that lead to brain damage.
hard to portray how serious and devastating this is,” Dr. Orrin Devinsky,
director of the New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, told NBC
and a team of researchers around the country carried out a test using CBD on
120 Dravet syndrome patients.
14 weeks, half were treated with CBD and the other half got a placebo.
frequency dropped in the cannabidiol-treated group by 39 percent from nearly 12
convulsive seizures per month before the study to about six; three patients’
seizures stopped entirely,” the team wrote in the New England
Journal of Medicine.
the placebo group, there was a 13 percent reduction in seizures from about 15
monthly seizures to 14,” they added.
remarkably, 5 percent of the children in the active treatment group with CBD
were completely seizure free during the 14 weeks of the trial,” Devinsky said.
“And these were kids who were often having dozens of seizures, if not many more
than that per week.”
the children who were treated with CBD were more likely to quit the trial
because of side-effects.
were generally mild or moderate in severity, with the most common being
vomiting, fatigue and fever,” Devinsky wrote.
It is expected that more data and clinical experience of cannabidiol on several forms of epilepsy syndrome is expected.
Mathieu Blake - Internet Entrepreneur, loves technology, sports, the Montreal Canadiens, Poker, Poker chips, current events and travel. You will often find him Writing about different topics that interest him on websites and blogs. To submit an article, contact the website directly.
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