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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Owing to an increase in demand for procedures and services, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is expanding its Pediatric Epilepsy Center. The expansion will include additional surgical technology, two epileptologists, EEG technologists and an ICU EEG. St. Louis Children’s Hospital recently invested in state-of-the-art surgical technology to treat children with epilepsy. ROSA, or Robotized Surgical Assistant, has two roles in epileptic surgery: to map out the procedural route before surgery, and to assist during surgery. Children’s epilepsy surgeons have performed upwards of 20 procedures with the help of ROSA since acquiring the technology almost a year ago. “ROSA allows us to better see the onset and spread of seizures in three dimensions across the brain, while doing so in an efficient and minimally invasive fashion,” says Rejean Guerriero, DO, a Washington University Physician and neurologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “It allows us to ask and answer questions about the relationship between cellular networks and their seizure susceptibility in remote parts of the brain that moves well beyond our prior abilities and technology." ROSA creates a 3-D map for the surgeons to follow during a procedure, and holds the surgical tools precisely and firmly in place. The precision and strength of ROSA has made brain surgery safer than ever before. The technology enables surgeons to perform less invasive procedures, with smaller incisions and less bleeding. It has reduced surgery time by hours, and has helped patients recover in days rather than weeks. ROSA also reduces the patient’s risk of pain and infection. In 2016, epilepsy surgery volumes at Children’s increased more than 30 percent from the previous year. To accommodate the growth in volume, the Pediatric Epilepsy Center is adding two epileptologists. Stuart Tomko, MD, who trained at Texas Children’s and Boston Children’s Hospitals, will begin working at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in July. Dr. Guerriero, who finished his residency and fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital before coming to St. Louis Children’s Hospital less than a year ago, will be spearheading the new ICU EEG program. The ICU EEG program, currently in a pilot phase, will debut at Children’s this summer. According to Bradley Schlaggar, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the ICU EEG program will allow physicians to identify and treat seizures more easily using EEG machines. “This service will increase our ability to optimize outcomes for patients in our pediatric, cardiac and neonatal intensive care units,” says Dr. Schlaggar. “It has become increasingly clear that neurocritically ill children have clinically unrecognized seizures with sufficient frequency that it is important to use EEG technology to identify those seizures.” Children’s is adding several EEG technologists to identify the source of seizures in patients using EEG equipment. “We are transferring responsibility for patient observation in the epilepsy monitoring unit from our patient care techs to the EEG techs in order to improve the quality and consistency of the process,” says Susan Hibbits, OTR/L, director of Neuroscience at Children’s. With the addition of new technologists and equipment, St. Louis Children’s Hospital plans to quickly and accurately identify seizures in patients in order to provide them with proper care. As demand increases for advanced epilepsy treatment, St. Louis Children’s Hospital will continually expand the Epilepsy Center to accommodate patients from the St. Louis region, across the United States and around the world. ABOUT ST. LOUIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL St. Louis Children’s Hospital has provided specialized care for children for more than 130 years. US News & World Report ranks St. Louis Children’s among the best pediatric hospitals in the nation. In 2015 the hospital again received the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence. St. Louis Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine, one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation. The hospital is a member of BJC HealthCare. For more information, visit StLouisChildrens.org, or find us on Facebook and @STLChildrens on Twitter.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 24, 2017 - Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. Guest Editors Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD, Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, MD, Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, comment that, "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes." Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took over 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explains Dr. Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, The University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60% from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14% reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13% had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71% of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51% of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," note Dr. Szaflarski and Dr. Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids."


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes," said guest editors Jerzy Szaflarski, Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York. Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took more than 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explained Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, the University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60 percent from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14 percent reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13 percent had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71 percent of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51 percent of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," said Szaflarski and Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids."


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes," said guest editors Jerzy Szaflarski, Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York. Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took more than 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explained Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, the University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60 percent from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14 percent reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13 percent had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71 percent of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51 percent of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," said Szaflarski and Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids."


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. Guest Editors Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, comment that, "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes." Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took over 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explains Dr. Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, The University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60 percent from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14 percent reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13 percent had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71 percent of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51 percent of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," note Dr. Szaflarski and Dr. Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids."


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. Guest Editors Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD, Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, MD, Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, comment that, "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes." Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took over 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explains Dr. Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, The University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60% from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14% reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13% had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71% of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51% of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," note Dr. Szaflarski and Dr. Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids." The special issue can be found online at: http://www.epilepsybehavior.com/issue/S1525-5050(17)X0007-3


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the editors of Epilepsy & Behavior to produce a special issue that presents an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. Guest Editors Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Epilepsy Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Director, Epilepsy Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, comment that, "There is an enormous dissociation between the widespread use of cannabis-based therapies to treat diverse epilepsies and our understanding about the efficacy and safety of different cannabinoids in treating different epilepsy syndromes." Because much of the political pressure to allow for medical marijuana use came from patients and lay groups, the goal of this special issue is "to evaluate the concerns and gaps in cannabinoid knowledge and medical education, and to create a curriculum as a first step in building a broader Education Roadmap." This special issue provides an overview for general neurologists and epileptologists, including historical aspects of cannabis use for epilepsy, overview of cannabis botany, general aspects of the endocannabinoid system as it pertains to epilepsy, pharmacology of cannabinoids, available anecdotal and clinical trial data of cannabinoid use for the treatment of epilepsy, safety data, discussion of possible effects of cannabinoids on the brain including neuroimaging data, and the legal aspects of cannabis production, distribution, and use for the treatment of epilepsy. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took over 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. "I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids," explains Dr. Mechoulam. To move a plant-based drug from research studies to clinical use is a particular challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Suman Chandra, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Mississippi, and co-authors review how the United States and United Kingdom have addressed the problem of securing uniform supplies of medically pure and potent cannabinoids. They review cultivation and processing of marijuana at two institutions with extensive experience, GW Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. and the University of Mississippi in the U.S. Because both media coverage of cannabis use in epilepsy and inconsistent classification of medical marijuana usage in different U.S. states have short-circuited the rigorous scientific protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), quality validation may be lacking. Dustin Sulak, DO, Integr8 Health (Falmouth, ME) and co-investigators review how "artisanal" cannabis preparations, not subject to state regulatory controls, are being used in Washington and California. They also relate four case studies of pediatric epilepsy patients that illustrate the complexities of treatment due to variability of these preparations. As an example of how interest in medical use of cannabis can be driven by social media and word-of-mouth, Anastasia S. Suraev, The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, The University of Sydney, and co-authors surveyed the Australian epilepsy community. This online survey was promoted by Epilepsy Action Australia, a national non-profit organization that provides education and services to people with epilepsy and their families. There were 976 responses, about 60 percent from adults with epilepsy and the remainder from children with epilepsy. Overall, 14 percent reported currently using or having previously used cannabis products to treat epilepsy. Of the 389 children with epilepsy included in the survey, 13 percent had a reported history of cannabis product use for epilepsy. Of these, 71 percent of parents/guardians rated cannabis products as successful in helping them manage their child's seizures. Furthermore, 51 percent of parents/guardians reported reduced use of anti-epileptic drugs by their child after commencing use of cannabis products. Although cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes in half of the states and another seventeen states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use, none of these products has been approved by the FDA. Alice Mead, JD, LLM, GW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) provides an overview of the legal aspects of cannabis and cannabidiol, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and use for medical purposes. "We hope these articles help stimulate greater understanding and more importantly, stimulate more studies to scientifically define the potential benefits and harms of cannabis-based therapies for epilepsy," note Dr. Szaflarski and Dr. Devinsky. "We need to develop a curriculum to address the rapidly changing scientific and regulatory landscape surrounding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids."

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