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Dec 24, 2015 07:22 AM EST

Marijuana derivative may control stubborn epileptic seizures


A new study shows that a drug made from a derivative of medical marijuana can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children and young adults, who don't find relief from other treatments, CBS News reports.

The study involves 11 epilepsy centers across the United States. For the study, the researchers analyzed 137 patients between the ages of one and 30 years old for a year. Many of the participants had not responded to multiple drugs, surgery, and dietary treatments.

The study found that a medical marijuana derivative called cannabidiol (CBD) helped reduce seizure frequency in most children and young adults enrolled in the study.

"These are some of most difficult to control patients in all of our practices," said Devinsky.

Devinsky said there was about a 36.5 percent reduction in monthly motor seizures among the participants.

The study was an open-labeled trial. The researchers and the families of the participants knew they were receiving the marijuana derivative, cannabidiol. Over the course of 12 weeks, patients were administered the oral CBD treatment Epidiolex, an investigational drug that has not been FDA-approved for general use.

According to Channel NewsAsia, Participants were started on 2 milligrams (mg) to 5 mg of the solution, broken into two daily doses. The dosage was slowly increased to 25 mg or 50 mg daily over the 12 weeks.

"The medium monthly frequency of motor seizures went from 30 per month at baseline to 15.8 per month over the 12 week treatment period," Devinsky said.

"The findings are very promising."

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