In recent years, cannabinoids—the active chemicals in medical marijuana— have been increasingly touted as a potential treatment for a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In a Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology review, investigators compare their efficacy with antiepileptic drugs for children with epilepsy.
One cannabinoid, called cannabidiol (CBD), has the most evidence of antiepileptic efficacy and does not have psychoactive effects. There has been little evidence for its use apart from anecdotal reports, until the last year.
The review notes that in three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials in Dravet syndrome and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (two forms of childhood epilepsy), CBD produced a 38 percent to 41 percent median reduction in all seizures compared with 13 percent to 19 percent with placebo. Similarly, CBD resulted in a 39 percent to 46 percent responder rate (50 percent convulsive or drop-seizure reduction) compared with 14 percent to 27 percent with placebo. CBD was well tolerated, however sedation, diarrhoea, and decreased appetite were frequent.
“Community debate about the use of CBD and access to this antiepileptic therapy has been heated,” the authors wrote. “With further trials and greater understanding of its role, the place of CBD in our antiepileptic armamentarium and its impact on comorbidities will become clearer.”
Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dmcn.14087
For over 60 years, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (DMCN) has defined the field of paediatric neurology and childhood-onset neurodisability. It is a multidisciplinary journal, one of the world’s leading journals in the whole field of paediatrics. DMCN disseminates the latest clinical research results globally to enhance the care and improve the lives of disabled children and their families.
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- Paediatric Neurology
- Childhood-onset Neurodisability
- Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry
- Neurogenetics, Neurophysiology, Neuroimaging
- Gait Analysis
- Physical, Occupational, Speech and Language Therapies
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DMCN is of interest to researchers, all health professionals concerned with developmental disability and child neurology, and others involved in the care of children, adolescents, and adults with childhood-onset neurodisability.
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