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Science Behind Cannabis-based Medicinal Products In Pediatric Epilepsies

Many researchers are investigating the science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies in the hopes that they may be helpful in this kind of illness. It has been a controversial subject over the last few years, not just within the health sector but also at the state and federal legislative levels. Even though it is still debatable, the usage of medical marijuana and cannabis-based medicinal products is becoming more popular with every passing year.

More lately, the use of cannabidiol products in pediatrics has generated new controversy, with pediatric physicians seeing patients who are experimenting with these products regularly. When it comes to treating epilepsy, understanding the endocannabinoid system and medical data around cannabis products can eventually assist doctors in making the best decisions for their patients.

A Brief Summary Of Pediatric Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a nerve disease that produces spontaneous seizures in children aged 1 to 5 years old. It is more prevalent in kids than in grown-ups. Seizures are not a kind of mental illness. When a kid experiences two or more seizures without a known reason, they are diagnosed with epilepsy. This disease has impacted the children and their families, which is why many researchers are researching the science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies to find a solution to this problem. Pediatric epilepsy may be split into two groups.

  • Generalized epilepsy. Seizures damage the child’s entire brain. Muscle weakness or tenseness, staring spells, or other symptoms may occur in a kid. Also, epilepsy may be mild and go away as the kid grows up, or severe and last a lifetime.
  • Partial epilepsy. Seizures originate in a specific brain region. Similar to generalized epilepsy, the kid may jolt or twitch. It may affect emotions, thoughts, and autonomic functioning. These seizures may happen at any time of day or night, and they may be a harmless event in early infancy that your kid will overcome.

Causes

Seven out of ten children with epilepsy have no recognized etiology. Epilepsy may be hereditary or acquired owing to brain injury after birth. Epilepsy may be brought on by several circumstances, including:

  • Issues with prenatal brain development
  • Birth deficiency of oxygen
  • Severe brain damage that creates a scar
  • Following serious brain illnesses like meningitis
  • Protracted seizure accompanied by a fever
  • Stroke
  • Aspects of genetics
  • Uncommon brain structures
  • Tumor

Signs & Symptoms

The most frequent symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures. A kid with epilepsy will have many different kinds of seizures.

  • Absence seizure- This kind of seizure causes kids to gaze or jerk their eyelids or facial muscles for a few seconds. They typically start before the age of two and last into puberty.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures- This kind of seizure causes the kid to faint and their arms and legs to stiffen, forcing them to collapse to the ground (tonic phase). A rhythmic jerking (clonic) phase follows.
  • Tonic seizures- Only the phase of a tonic-clonic is included in this seizure.
  • Myoclonic seizures- The kid has extremely short, lightning-quick twitches of anybody region without falling unconscious during this kind of seizure.
  • Atonic seizures- A rapid loss of muscular tone occurs in this kind of seizure, causing the kid to fall to the ground.

Current Research Into The Science Cannabis-based Medicinal Products In Pediatric Epilepsies

The science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies has encouraged parents to seriously explore Cannabis-based products as a treatment option for their children who are suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy. However, physicians are hesitant to recommend Cannabis-based products owing to regulatory uncertainty and a lack of clinical evidence supporting their usage. 

Most cannabis formulations for treatment-resistant epilepsy research are limited exploratory. However, smaller trials have indicated that a variety of cannabis formulations may help reduce seizure frequency in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. The science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies is increasing since many people are demanding to know if it is an effective medicine.

CBD, in both handmade and pharmaceutical-grade forms, has been proven to assist many individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy conditions. The effectiveness of handmade CBD preparations in children with epilepsy was studied retrospectively in 108 pediatric patients. A subset of participants in the trial also got clobazam to see whether it enhanced the benefits of CBD. Overall, adding CBD reduced seizures in 39 percent of patients by 50% or more, with 10% becoming seizure-free.

The impact of CBD alone vs. CBD with clobazam was not significantly different. Individuals in the CBD group reported better alertness and verbal interactions than patients in the CBD plus clobazam group. However, simultaneous clobazam usage may add to the drowsiness observed with CBD use. 

Moreover, researchers tested CBD as a therapy for drop seizures in individuals with treatment-resistant Lennox-Gastaut syndrome at 24 clinical locations in the US, the Netherlands, and Poland. The research included 86 individuals who received therapy and 85 who received a placebo. The therapy group saw a 43.9 percent decrease in monthly atonic seizure frequency compared to 21.8 percent in the placebo group. The most frequent Epidiolex side effects were drowsiness, reduced appetite, and diarrhea.

Researchers also reviewed 36 papers on the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical-grade CBD in juvenile drug-resistant epilepsy. The study on the science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies showed that a CBD dosage of 20 mg/kg/day reduced seizure frequency by 50% compared to a placebo. Quality of life increased in 55.8% of patients, whereas CBD-related severe adverse events occurred in just 2.2% of patients. Researchers also found that eight individuals were required to be treated to achieve a 50% decrease in seizures. 

Conclusion

Antiepileptic medicines are often ineffective in treating pediatric epilepsy. Medical cannabis has saved the lives of several pediatric epileptic sufferers. While more study is needed to guarantee the safety of medicinal cannabis products, evidence is emerging to support their usage in mainstream medicine.

Moreover, the science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies is currently being explored. Many people think that cannabis-based products will provide relief from their illnesses.

 

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