Medical Marijuana Research on Epilepsy

Epilepsy, a persistent seizure disorder, affects an estimated 2 million Americans as well as about 30 million people around the world. There are many symptoms to 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 which include contact to chemical toxins and physical injury.

Other patients diagnosed with epilepsy have partial seizure, which is 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 build up the situation after sustaining injury to centrally 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 mainly because diverse drugs are suitable for other 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 on 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.

These anticonvulsants usually make patients drowsy and sometimes even mentally slow and these drugs lead to hair loss, headache, tremor, dermatitis, and among some of the side effects. Many patients who have epilepsy endure the effects of anticonvulsants to prevent seizure which are both emotionally devastating and physically dangerous.

Unfortunately however, although there are anecdotal evidence and a number of reports – ranging from individual studies to clinical studies suggesting of marijuana’s ability to manage epileptic seizures, there are not much solid evidence support this assertion mainly because studies conducted have not been that extensive. The single relevant study that was published until now 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.

Researches 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 in this extent yet and currently, the only biological grounds 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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