A password will be e-mailed to you.

Cannabis Use in People With Epilepsy Revealed

Summary: A new study reports more and more people are turning to the help of cannabis to help control their epilepsy when conventional medication’s side effect are intolerable and their seizures remain uncontrolled.

Source: University of Sydney.

People with epilepsy resort to cannabis products when anti-epileptic drug side-effects are intolerable and epilepsy uncontrolled.

The first Australian nationwide survey on the experiences and opinions of medicinal cannabis use in people with epilepsy has revealed that 14 per cent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products as a way to manage seizures.

The study showed that of those with a history of cannabis product use, 90 per cent of adults and 71 per cent of parents of children with epilepsy reported success in managing seizures after commencing using cannabis products.

Published in Epilepsy & Behaviour, the Epilepsy Action Australia study, in partnership with The Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney, surveyed 976 respondents to examine cannabis use in people with epilepsy, reasons for use, and any perceived benefits self-reported by consumers (or their carers).

The survey revealed:

  • 15 per cent of adults with epilepsy and 13 per cent of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy were currently using, or had previously used, cannabis products to treat epilepsy.
  • Across all respondents, the main reasons for trying cannabis products were to manage treatment-resistant epilepsy and to obtain a more favourable side-effect profile compared to standard antiepileptic drugs.
  • The number of past antiepileptic drugs was a significant predictor of medicinal cannabis use in both adults and children with epilepsy.

“This survey provides insight into the use of cannabis products for epilepsy, in particular some of the likely factors influencing use, as well as novel insights into the experiences of and attitudes towards medicinal cannabis in people with epilepsy in the Australian community,” said lead author Anastasia Suraev from The Lambert Initiative.

Image shows a marijuana leaf.

15 per cent of adults with epilepsy and 13 per cent of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy were currently using, or had previously used, cannabis products to treat epilepsy. NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrative purposes only.

“Despite the limitations of a retrospective online survey, we cannot ignore that a significant proportion of adults and children with epilepsy are using cannabis-based products in Australia, and many are self-reporting considerable benefits to their condition.

“More systematic clinical studies are urgently needed to help us better understand the role of cannabinoids in epilepsy,” she said.

Co-author of the paper Carol Ireland, CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia, who was recently appointed to the Australian Government’s new Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis, said: “Cannabis products are often what people turn to when they have been unable to control their epilepsy with conventional medication.”

“This highlights a growing need to educate consumers and health professionals on the use of cannabis by people with epilepsy, and to provide safe and timely access to cannabinoid medicine in order to lessen people’s reliance on illicit black market products” she said.

About this epilepsy research article

Funding: This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE).

Source: Kobi Print – University of Sydney
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Full open access research for “An Australian nationwide survey on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy: History of antiepileptic drug treatment predicts medicinal cannabis use” by Anastasia S. Suraev Lisa Todd, Michael T. Bowen, David J. Allsop, Iain S. McGregor, Carol Ireland, and Nicholas Lintzeris in Epilepsy & Behaviour. Published online February 24 2017 doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.02.005

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
University of Sydney “Cannabis Use in People With Epilepsy Revealed.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 4 March 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/neurotheology, epilepsy-religion-6214/>.
University of Sydney (2017, March 4). Cannabis Use in People With Epilepsy Revealed. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved March 4, 2017 from http://neurosciencenews.com/neurotheology, epilepsy-religion-6214/
University of Sydney “Cannabis Use in People With Epilepsy Revealed.” http://neurosciencenews.com/neurotheology, epilepsy-religion-6214/ (accessed March 4, 2017).

Abstract

An Australian nationwide survey on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy: History of antiepileptic drug treatment predicts medicinal cannabis use

Epilepsy Action Australia conducted an Australian nationwide online survey seeking opinions on and experiences with the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy. The survey was promoted via the Epilepsy Action Australia’s main website, on their Facebook page, and by word of mouth. The survey consisted of 39 questions assessing demographics, clinical factors, including diagnosis and seizure types, and experiences with and opinions towards cannabis use in epilepsy. A total of 976 responses met the inclusion criteria. Results show that 15% of adults with epilepsy and 13% of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy were currently using, or had previously used, cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of those with a history of cannabis product use, 90% of adults and 71% of parents reported success in reducing seizure frequency after commencing cannabis products. The main reasons for medicinal cannabis use were to manage treatment-resistant epilepsy and to obtain a more favorable side-effect profile compared to standard antiepileptic drugs. The number of past antiepileptic drugs tried was a significant predictor of medicinal cannabis use in both adults and children with epilepsy. Fifty-six percent of adults with epilepsy and 62% of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy expressed willingness to participate in clinical trials of cannabinoids. This survey provides insight into the use of cannabis products for epilepsy, in particular some of the likely factors influencing use, as well as novel insights into the experiences of and attitudes towards medicinal cannabis in people with epilepsy in the Australian community.

“An Australian nationwide survey on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy: History of antiepileptic drug treatment predicts medicinal cannabis use” by Anastasia S. Suraev Lisa Todd, Michael T. Bowen, David J. Allsop, Iain S. McGregor, Carol Ireland, and Nicholas Lintzeris in Epilepsy & Behaviour. Published online February 24 2017 doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.02.005

Feel free to share this Neuroscience News.
Join our Newsletter
Sign up to receive the latest neuroscience headlines and summaries sent to your email daily from NeuroscienceNews.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
No more articles

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this neuroscience news with your friends!