Author: Oren Liebermann (CNN Haifa, Israel)
Published: May 16, 2016
This report centered on the case of Lavie Parush a two-year old with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. His family asked from the Ministry of Health a license to use medical cannabis to lessen his seizures. Lavie had daily attacks before his parents learned of and gave him medical cannabis. They mix the oil from the cannabis strain, Avidekel, to his food. After weeks of use, they claim absence of seizures.
One of the eight cannabis growers in the country, Tikun Olam, creates Avidekel in northern Israel. The firm said that the strain is best for toddlers and babies because it has high amounts of cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient in cannabis that has anti-inflammatory properties. Likewise, the drug is low on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive content that makes marijuana users high, and that which relieves pain.
Dr. Uri Kramer said that medical cannabis shows promising results in children whose epilepsy has not responded to multiple drugs. He leads the Department for the Treatment of Childhood Epilepsy at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and is the specialist who asked the license for Lavie. Dr. Kramer claims his patients showed medical cannabis’ success rate of around 20 percent in reducing seizures by 75 percent in children with epilepsy. This result is higher than any other drug sold for the disease.
In a 2013 Stanford University survey, of the 19 children, 2-16 years old, with epilepsy, 16 self-reported or parents reported to have less seizure from using medical cannabis.
Research is ongoing for CBD use in children with intractable epilepsy says Dr. Angus Wilfong, a pediatric neurologist at Texas Children’s Hospital. He urged them to take caution, though, because an early developing brain is more prone to trauma from drugs and toxins than when that body part is older.
Since Tikun Olam prescribed no dosage for the drug, parents will decide on the dose they will give to their children. As for Lavie’s parents, they use CBD oil every day, and THC oil only when the child suffers from severe spasticity due to his cerebral palsy.
In whole, this report is useful and well written. Its style is formal yet not overwhelming unlike other medical articles. In like manner, its author named many sources that will help prove the findings. With more research and observation, this study will give hope to parents desperate to find a cure for their children. In addition, this can sway the government’s view of medical marijuana to see it offers more gain than harm when used in the proper way.
Unabated – with undiminished force, power, or vigor
Pharmacology –science dealing with the preparation, uses, and especially the effects of drugs
Psychoactive – of or relating to a substance having a profound or significant effect on the mental processes
Intractable Epilepsy – is a seizure disorder in which a patient’s seizures fail to come under control with treatment. These seizures are sometimes called “uncontrolled” or “refractory.”
Spasm – a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles
Confounding – a relationship between two causal factors such that their individual contributions cannot be separated
Epileptologists – experts in epileptic seizures and seizure disorders, anticonvulsants, and special situations involving seizures, such as cases wherein treatments intended to stop seizures failed and epilepsy (especially poorly controlled epilepsy) in pregnant women.