Highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) at a dose of 10mg/kg/day can reduce convulsive seizures in children with Dravet syndrome by almost 50%, a study published in Neurology has found.
Dravet syndrome is a rare, severe form of childhood epilepsy and current medicines are unable to provide complete seizure control.
The study investigated 199 patients with Dravet syndrome who were already taking a median of three anti-epileptic drugs. The patients, who had a mean age of 9 years, were randomized to receive either highly purified CBD at 20mg/kg/day (CBD20), highly purified CBD at 10mg/kg/day (CBD10) or placebo.
The researchers then examined the change in convulsive seizure frequency over a 14-week treatment period by comparing it to the 4 weeks before treatment.
They found that in the group taking CBD20, the number of convulsive seizures was reduced by 46%, while in the CBD10 group the number of seizures was reduced by 49%. In the placebo group, the number of seizures reduced by 27%.
“It’s exciting to be able to offer another alternative for children with this debilitating form of epilepsy, and their families,” said study author Ian Miller, a neurologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Florida.
“The children in this study had already tried an average of four epilepsy drugs with no success, and [when the study was conducted] were taking an average of three additional drugs, so to have this measure of success with cannabidiol is a major victory.”