Medical Marijuana Research on Epilepsy

Epilepsy, a persistent seizure disorder, affects an estimated two million Americans as well as about thirty million people around the world. There are many symptoms of this disease including repeated rapid attacks of altered consciousness, uncontrolled movement, and convulsions which are brought by instantaneous stimulation of nervous nerve cells. Patients may become susceptible to epileptic seizure through a great extend of potential causes, including physical injury and  contact with chemical toxins.

Other patients diagnosed with epilepsy have partial seizures, also called focal seizures. During partial seizure, disturbances occur in the part of the brain that controls consciousness, sensation, and movement which is the cerebral cortex; these functions become momentarily disordered every time partial seizures happen. Some patients having epilepsy experience seizures that affect many aspects of the brain, especially when these people worsened the situation after sustaining injury to essential parts of the brain. These seizures transpire as either violent grand mal events or mild petit mal.

There are many conservative anticonvulsant medications that can be used in efforts to manage epileptic seizure. Oftentimes, patients are compelled to try several medications before finding the most effective treatments because diverse drugs are suitable for different kinds of seizures. Anti-epilepsy drugs repress seizures totally in almost 60 percent of people with epilepsy and decrease their fatality in another 15 percent. Unfortunately, a lot of the lingering 25 percent experience brain disease that is not being alleviated by anticonvulsant therapy. Other patients persist experiencing seizures particularly because either they resist recommended medication or they use the medications incorrectly and their bodies are unable to take in the drugs.

Anticonvulsants usually make patients drowsy and sometimes even mentally slow. They can lead to hair loss, headache, tremor, and dermatitis, among some of the side effects. However, many patients who have epilepsy endure the effects of anticonvulsants to prevent seizures that are both emotionally devastating and physically dangerous.

Although there is anecdotal evidence and a number of reports ranging from individual studies to clinical studies suggesting of marijuana’s ability to manage epileptic seizures, there is not much solid evidence support this assertion mainly because studies conducted have not been extensive enough. The single relevant study that has published to date was intended to assess whether illegal drug usage affected the age wherein patients who have epilepsy experienced their first seizures. In this research, 600 patients were examined and researchers discovered that men, who experienced using the drug, were less proven to have seizures than men who have not used marijuana.

Researchers of medicines for epilepsy usually require large number of patients who need to be supervised for months because symptoms are extremely changeable and even tend to happen unpredictably. There has been no study of this extent yet. Currently, the only biological ground that backs up the ability of cannabinoids suppressing epileptic seizures is CB1 receptors great quantity in a number of brain regions, (the amygdala and hippocampus) where most partial seizures starts.

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