Can medical marijuana help treat intractable epilepsy?

August 8, 2018, Wiley

A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis—or medical marijuana—for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment.

The authors note that cannabidiol—the most researched compound of cannabis—may have modest efficacy and be appropriate for children with severe epilepsy, but attention must be paid to potential side effects and . There is no evidence to guide physicians in ranking cannabidiol among current antiepileptic drugs, and it will be important to continue studying its potential through rigorous clinical trials.

"The emergence over the past 12 months of the first successful double-blind of cannabidiol is good news for some desperate families of children with severe epilepsy. These studies are a reminder though that this drug is no miracle, and we still have much to learn," said co-author Dr. John Anthony Lawson, of Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, in Australia.

Explore further: Content of illicit cannabis to treat kids with epilepsy revealed

More information: John A. Lawson et al, Therapeutic Use of medicinal cannabis in difficult to manage epilepsy, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/bcp.13711

Related Stories

Content of illicit cannabis to treat kids with epilepsy revealed

July 5, 2018
A study of community use of medicinal cannabis to treat childhood epilepsy has found most samples contained some THC and little CBD, contrary to parents' expectations, and a majority were reported as reducing seizures.

Cannabis compound reduces seizures

February 27, 2018
About one third of patients treated for epilepsy continue to have seizures. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the many active compounds in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, has gained attention as a treatment for epilepsy. Purified ...

Cannabis compound may help curb frequency of epileptic seizures

March 6, 2018
A naturally occurring compound found in cannabis may help to curb the frequency of epileptic seizures, suggests a review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Cannabis oil for epilepsy – what you need to know

June 25, 2018
Epilepsy drugs don't work well, or at all, for about one-third of people with the condition. Unfortunately, these hard-to-treat epilepsies are associated with an increased risk of premature death.

Approval of drug derived from cannabis not necessarily a win for weed

June 28, 2018
The Food and Drug Administration on June 25 approved for the first time a drug made from cannabidiol (CBD), a molecule derived from the cannabis plant. The drug, Epidiolex, was approved for the treatment of two types of ...

Recommended for you

Research shows signalling mechanism in the brain shapes social aggression

October 19, 2018
Duke-NUS researchers have discovered that a growth factor protein, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and its receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) affects social dominance in mice. The research has ...

Good spatial memory? You're likely to be good at identifying smells too

October 19, 2018
People who have better spatial memory are also better at identifying odors, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. The study builds on a recent theory that the main reason that a sense of smell ...

How clutch molecules enable neuron migration

October 19, 2018
The brain can discriminate over 1 trillion odors. Once entering the nose, odor-related molecules activate olfactory neurons. Neuron signals first accumulate at the olfactory bulb before being passed on to activate the appropriate ...

Scientists discover the region of the brain that registers excitement over a preferred food option

October 19, 2018
At holiday buffets and potlucks, people make quick calculations about which dishes to try and how much to take of each. Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found a brain region that appears to be strongly connected ...

Gene plays critical role in noise-induced deafness

October 19, 2018
In experiments using mice, a team of UC San Francisco researchers has discovered a gene that plays an essential role in noise-induced deafness. Remarkably, by administering an experimental chemical—identified in a separate ...

Weight loss success linked with active self-control regions of the brain

October 18, 2018
New research suggests that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight. In a study among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.