Cannabis for refractory epilepsy in children: A review focusing on CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder

Tristan Dale, Jenny Downs, Heather Olson, Ann Marie Bergin, Stephanie Smith, Helen Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Severe paediatric epilepsies such as CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD) are extremely debilitating, largely due to the early-onset and refractory nature of the seizures. Existing treatment options are often ineffective and associated with a host of adverse effects, causing those that are affected to seek alternative treatments. Cannabis based products have attracted significant attention over recent years, primarily driven by reports of miraculous cures and a renewed public preference for 'natural' therapies, thus placing intense pressure on health professionals and the government for regulatory change. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the potential role for cannabis in the treatment of CDD. Key areas discussed include the history, mechanism of action, efficacy and safety of cannabis based preparations as well as the burden related to CDD. The evidence supports the use of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, in similar forms of refractory epilepsy including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. Evidence for cannabinoids specifically in CDD is limited but growing, with multiple anecdotal reports and an open-label trial showing cannabidiol to be associated with a significant reduction in seizure activity. This review provides the first comprehensive overview of the potential role for cannabis based preparations in the treatment of CDD and provides justification for further clinical and observational research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
Volume151
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Cite this

Dale, Tristan ; Downs, Jenny ; Olson, Heather ; Bergin, Ann Marie ; Smith, Stephanie ; Leonard, Helen. / Cannabis for refractory epilepsy in children : A review focusing on CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder. In: Epilepsy Research. 2019 ; Vol. 151. pp. 31-39.
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Cannabis for refractory epilepsy in children : A review focusing on CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder. / Dale, Tristan; Downs, Jenny; Olson, Heather; Bergin, Ann Marie; Smith, Stephanie; Leonard, Helen.

In: Epilepsy Research, Vol. 151, 03.2019, p. 31-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T1 - Cannabis for refractory epilepsy in children

T2 - A review focusing on CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder

AU - Dale, Tristan

AU - Downs, Jenny

AU - Olson, Heather

AU - Bergin, Ann Marie

AU - Smith, Stephanie

AU - Leonard, Helen

PY - 2019/3

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AB - Severe paediatric epilepsies such as CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD) are extremely debilitating, largely due to the early-onset and refractory nature of the seizures. Existing treatment options are often ineffective and associated with a host of adverse effects, causing those that are affected to seek alternative treatments. Cannabis based products have attracted significant attention over recent years, primarily driven by reports of miraculous cures and a renewed public preference for 'natural' therapies, thus placing intense pressure on health professionals and the government for regulatory change. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the potential role for cannabis in the treatment of CDD. Key areas discussed include the history, mechanism of action, efficacy and safety of cannabis based preparations as well as the burden related to CDD. The evidence supports the use of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, in similar forms of refractory epilepsy including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. Evidence for cannabinoids specifically in CDD is limited but growing, with multiple anecdotal reports and an open-label trial showing cannabidiol to be associated with a significant reduction in seizure activity. This review provides the first comprehensive overview of the potential role for cannabis based preparations in the treatment of CDD and provides justification for further clinical and observational research.

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JO - Epilepsy Research

JF - Epilepsy Research

SN - 0920-1211

ER -