Using cannabis and CBD for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS)
In the most severe cases of atonic, tonic and atypical absences, children are affected in various types of seizures. Lennox-Gastaut symptoms (LGS) have been shown to be a major form of childhood and early infancy epilepsy.
Children with such a syndrome can also develop cognitive dysfunction, delayed progress, and conduct problems. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may be caused by a number of underlying issues, but there is no cause in some cases. It may be difficult to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome because it is (refractory) immune to many kinds of antiseizure medications. New treatments are being tested and assessed for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is slightly more common in males than in females. It is estimated that the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome occurs in 1-.28 individuals per 100,000 and is projected to comprise 1-4% of all childhood epilepsy cases. The incidence is estimated to be 2 per 100,000 children per year.
This syndrome generally occurs between 2 and 7 years with maximum beginnings between 3 and 5 years.
What is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS)
This syndrome consists of a multiplicity of seizure types, mental retardation or regressions, and abnormal electroencephalogram findings (EEG) with high-acting paroxysms with generalized slow spike-and-wave (1,5-2 Hz) discharges.
The most common types of seizures are tonic axial, atonic, and absence seizures, but myoclonic, severe tonic-clonic and partial seizures can be identified.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome typically begins in childhood or early childhood between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Infections with Lennox Gastaut syndrome, mainly electrical disorders of the brain, affected various types of seizures. Most people are affected most times a day by many kinds of seizures. The type of seizure and its duration will change as people get older.
Tonic and atonic seizures are the most common types of convulsions associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Tonic convulsions cause increased muscle tone and rigidity. They are characterized by long-term muscle contractions which can cause minor symptoms such as a mild weakening of the body or a short breath interruption or major problems such as face muscle spasms and folding or arms and legs extension. Affected kids can spread their arms like a ballet dancer over their heads. Tonic attacks usually take a short time (with a period of a few seconds to a minute) and occur particularly during sleep during the night, but also during the daytime. A brief loss of consciousness usually occurs during a tonic attack. Tonic seizures occurring while awake can lead to a fall in affected people.
Medical Cannabis Treatment for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Currently, approval for the treatment of serious and unusual types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome have been granted by the US Food and Drug Administration in the US (FDA) for oral cannabidiol (Epidiolex) [ CBD].
The news today gives much-needed hope to persons with Lennox-Gastaut and their families, “says Christina SanInocencio, Executive Director of the LGS Foundation.
This approval is a reminder that further sound development programs that correctly evaluate marijuana active ingredients will lead to medical treatments of major importance.
And, in the recent statement, FDA committees Scott Gottlieb, MD, have committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that does not produce a “high” and has been an increasing focus of medical research in epilepsy. Research recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a significant reduction in the number of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients in the EPIDIOLEX ® clinical trial.
CBD’s effectiveness was tested in 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of CBD administered with other medications in 516 patients who had either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. The result showed that CBD is active as compared to placebo for reducing the frequency of seizures.