Some very encouraging news. Researchers at at New York University’s Langone Medical Center have reported results from clinical trials of Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical preparartion of CBD Cannabidiol. The study was structured to determine if the medication was safe, not to measure effectiveness as a an anticonvulsant. Nevertheless, 80% of the participants in the study decreases in seizure activity and on average. The average result for participants was a 54% reduction in seizures after 12 weeks of treatment. Additional clinical trials are still in progress. According to the American Academy of Neurology’s press release:
The study involved 213 people, ranging from toddlers to adults, with a median age of 11 who had severe epilepsy that did not respond to other treatments. Participants had Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, epilepsy types that can lead to intellectual disability and lifelong seizures, as well as 10 other types of severe epilepsy. The participants were given the drug cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not include the psychoactive part of the plant that creates a “high.” The drug is a liquid taken daily by mouth. Participants all knew they were receiving the drug in the open-label study, which was designed to determine whether the drug was safe and tolerated well. Researchers also measured the number of seizures participants had while taking the drug. For the 137 people who completed the 12-week study, the number of seizures decreased by an average of 54 percent from the beginning of the study to the end. Among the 23 people with Dravet syndrome who finished the study, the number of convulsive seizures had gone down by 53 percent by the end of the study. For the 11 people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome who finished the study, there was a 55 percent reduction in the number of atonic seizures, which cause a sudden loss of muscle tone.