Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes an individual to have recurrent and unprovoked seizures. Estimates show that roughly 470,000 children in the United States are living with epilepsy. The condition is usually diagnosed when an individual suffers from at least two seizures 24 hours apart.
Epilepsy can be genetic, with research discovering more than 500 genes that may be linked to the disorder. It can also be brought about by fevers, infection, traumatic brain injuries and autoimmune diseases, which is referred to as acquired epilepsy.
Despite the presence of a number of anti-seizure medications that can be prescribed to manage the condition, about 30% of kids don’t respond to these drugs. These children suffer from what doctors refer to as uncontrollable epilepsy or intractable epilepsy. This type of epilepsy is diagnosed after a patient has tried managing the condition using anti-seizure drugs, without any luck. In some cases, however, the drugs reduce the frequency of the seizures but don’t stop them from occurring completely.
Some advances have been made in the epilepsy treatment field with the rise of genetic testing and the development of CBD-derived drugs. For instance, advancements in genetic testing technology have enabled the identification of more genetic mutations in children with epilepsy, which allows doctors to prescribe anti-seizure drugs that target certain mutations.
Genetic screening can also be used to identify undiscovered mutations linked to epilepsy and lead to the development of new drugs.
The use of CBD derivatives has also become popular as an intractable epilepsy treatment. CBD is one of the main compounds found in the cannabis plant with the other major one being THC. However unlike THC, CBD doesn’t possess psychoactive properties.
These products have been found to be effective in decreasing seizures, with the FDA approving a CBD drug known as Epidiolex for the treatment of childhood epilepsy. This formulation is said to be effective in decreasing seizures in a pair of intractable epilepsy. It has side effects that are less severe in comparison to currently used anti-seizure drugs.
The FDA also approved a nasal spray called Midazolam, an anti-seizure drug that can be used by adolescents. This drug helps treat seizure clusters, which occur in children suffering from intractable epilepsy. It’s the first new drug to be approved for this disorder in the United States in more than two decades. Experts believe that these advancements may make it easier to develop effective treatment options for children suffering from intractable epilepsy.
As these advances are made on the therapeutic front, it will get increasingly harder to sustain the attitude among some people that legally sourced recreational cannabis products from state-legal companies such as American Cannabis Partners have no benefit for users.
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