Epilepsy Ireland News

29-05-2017| CBD may assist epilepsy treatment according to new research

29 May 2017
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New research has analysed the efficacy of a cannabis derivative in treating a severe form of epilepsy.

This is the first time that the anticonvulsant properties of cannabidiol were tested in a large-scale, double-blind, randomized clinical trial.

Researchers led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky , professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry New York University (NYU), as well as director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center – examined cannabidiol (CBD) in relation to Dravet syndrome.

The evidence available seems to indicate that CBD can help to treat epilepsy in both children and adults with refractory epilepsy. Devinsky and researchers examined CBD on 120 children and teenagers with Dravet syndrome.

Participants were split into random groups in 23 medical sites across the United States and Europe. They were given either 20 milligrams of CBD per kilogram, or a placebo. The intervention was added to the participants' existing treatment over the course of 14 weeks.

During this time, the patients' seizure frequency was monitored. The seizures were also monitored for a month prior to the study, so that researchers had an understanding of the patients' condition at baseline.

CBD significantly lowered the frequency of the seizures in the group that received the treatment.CBD-treated patients had 39 percent fewer seizures as a result of the intervention. This amounts to a drop in the median number of monthly seizures from almost 12 to approximately six. For three of the patients, seizures completely stopped.

In the placebo group, the seizures dropped by 13 percent, from 15 seizures per month to 14.

"Cannabidiol should not be viewed as a panacea for epilepsy, but for patients with especially severe forms who have not responded to numerous medications, these results provide hope that we may soon have another treatment option. We still need more research, but this new trial provides more evidence than we have ever had of cannabidiol's effectiveness as a medication for treatment-resistant epilepsy", said Devinksy.

Article source: Healthline

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