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Pot Or Not? Why Parents Of Kids With Epilepsy Want Access To Marijuana Treatment


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  • Usuário Growroom

Desperate parents of children with severe forms of epilepsy are
starting to demand access to an unusual and experimental treatment made
from marijuana.

But many doctors in Canada are saying that until there is more evidence
that the treatment is actually helpful, they’re not going to be
recommending it to patients.

Fifteen-year-old Teigan Janfield has suffered from severe epileptic
seizures her whole life. She has a rare genetic disorder called Dravet
Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI),
which causes her to have several seizures a day.

"It's horrible and heartbreaking to see this repeatedly,” her mother
Paula Janfield told CTV News.

None of the 14 medications that have been prescribed to Teigan over her
lifetime have stopped the seizures. Now, her mother is hoping to get
her an experimental treatment called CBD, or cannabidiol. The drug is a
liquid marijuana extract that many say helps to stop the seizures.

CBD comes from a strain of cannabis that is high in cannabidiol but low
in THC, the compound in marijuana that brings on the “high” of
pot-smoking. Advocates of the treatment say it calms the brain without
intoxicating children.

CBD is legal for children in some U.S states, including Colorado, but
parents in Canada can't get the extract because they can’t find doctors
who will prescribe it.

Still, many parents in the U.S. report CBD has dramatic results.
California father Jason David says he has been giving CBD to his
six-year-old son Jayden, who also has Dravet Syndrome. He says Jayden
has been seizure-free for nine months.

Advocates like Dr. Margaret Gedde of the Clinicians’ Institute for
Cannabis Medicine say CBD can significantly change the lives of children
with epilepsy.

“They can eat. They can put on weight. They can sleep,” she said. “They
can actually have a normal childhood.”

But others, including neurologist and pediatric epilepsy expert at
Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children Dr. Berge Minassian, say there's
little scientific proof that CBD is either safe or works.

“If any doctor had used it and seen it work, it would have been
published as a case report (in a medical journal). There are is no case
report in the literature,” Minassian told CTV News.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, the director at New York University and Saint
Barnabas Epilepsy Centers, says there have been some animal studies that
have shown CBD reduces seizures, but he remains skeptical.

“Many therapies which start out with excitement turn out not to work,”
he says.

Still, Devinsky has received approval from the FDA to begin a new study
in the next few months to test the safety of CBD in children with
Dravet Syndrome.

“Then, we will move into studies to see if it is effective,” he says.

The results of that research could take several years. In the meantime,
many parents of kids with severe epilepsy say their children should be
allowed to try the treatment on compassionate grounds because, so far,
nothing else is working.

Tiegan’s mother Paula is one of those who want to access the treatment,
as she worries about the effects of her daughter’s epilepsy.

“We know seizures can cause brain damage,” she says. “This is something
we needed yesterday.”

Barry Pogson, whose nine-month old daughter Kate has already suffered
more than 50 seizures, said CBD could offer an alternative to emergency
medicines that often don’t work.

“It is scary when you run out of things to give her,” Pogson said.
“It’s terrifying.”

Kate’s seizures can last up to an hour and Pogson said he worries that
one of them might be fatal or that his daughter will suffer long-term
brain damage.

In a statement, Health Canada said people can apply for access to
marijuana for medical purposes if they meet certain criteria, and the
agency has a contract with Prairie Plant Systems Inc. to produce a
“reliable, standardized source” of marijuana for patients who qualify.

However, Health Canada said “while there are many anecdotal reports of
the therapeutic value of marijuana, as well as different strains of
marijuana, scientific evidence does not establish the safety and
efficacy of cannabis to the extent required by the Food and Drug
Regulations for marketed drugs in Canada.

“Therefore, it is not an approved therapeutic substance in Canada.”

The agency said new regulations will come into effect on April 1, 2014,
allowing individuals to get marijuana directly from licensed producers.
The new rules will not restrict those producers to any one strain of
marijuana and there will be no restrictions on THC or CBD levels.

Health Canada said three prescription medications containing THC, a THC
derivative or TCH with other cannabinoids have received “notice of
compliance and market authorization.” Those medications are dronarbinol
(Marinol), nabilone (Cesamet) and Sativex.

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  • Usuário Growroom

Isso que não dá para entender. O mundo instruído sabe que a erva tem inesgotáveis benefícios. É planta caral%&!!!! Deixa que cada um tenha seus vasos e cuide da própria saúde. Onde está o mal disso. Falência da industria farmacêutica?? Eles que comercializem a erva como fazem com outras ervas.

Obrigado pela notícia.


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