On Wednesday, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a report that demonstrates Cannabidiol (CBD) – the therapeutic non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana – reduces seizures in children suffering from drug-resistant forms of epilepsy.
Validated by the New England Journal of Medicine, GW Pharmaceuticals phase 3 CDB trail was found to help some patients more than others.
For their double-blind peer-reviewed study, scientists from the NEJM “randomly assigned 120 children and young adults with the Dravet syndrome and drug-resistant seizures to receive either cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day or placebo, in addition to standard antiepileptic treatment.”
Dravet syndrome is considered a rare genetic form of epilepsy, seizures typically begin in the first year of life. And, as it currently stands, there are no pharmaceutical options specifically approved for the treatment of Dravet syndrome.
Science, Cannabinoids, and Epilepsy — At Last, Real Data
For their 14-week trial, the NEJM found the median “frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased” for those in the cannabidiol group from 12.4 to 5.9; those suffering from seizures in the placebo group remained relatively stagnant, decreasing from 14.9 to 14.1.
“The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43% with cannabidiol and 27% with placebo (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% CI, 0.93 to 4.30; P=0.08). The patient’s overall condition improved by at least one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol group as compared with 34% of the placebo group (P=0.02). The frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03), but there was no significant reduction in nonconvulsive seizures. The percentage of patients who became seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0% with placebo.”
Results from the study indicated that 43 percent of those patients in the CBD group witnessed their occurrence of seizures decline by at least 50%, compared with just 27 percent in the placebo group. Most significant, 5 percent of the trial’s participants given CBD observed their seizures vanish.
Though not a panacea for all with refractory epilepsy – the CBD cannabinoid certainly represents a shining beacon of hope for many.
Photo courtesy of Allison Beckett
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