Can Medical Marijuana Control Seizures in Children?
Birth injuries pose a serious risk for seizures to develop in children. In many cases, these seizures can be lifelong and result in further health complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2015, roughly 1.2 percent of the United States population (3.4 million people) suffered from epilepsy. About 470,000 of those suffering from epilepsy were children (0.6 percent of children).
Historically, seizures have been difficult to tame with conventional medicine. However, new medical advances may provide real solutions for children who suffer from seizures.
Identifying the problem
Our experienced birth injury attorneys previously discussed the causes and symptoms of seizures in children. There are three categories of seizures: generalized onset seizures that affect both sides of brain, focal onset seizures that affect specific parts of body, and unknown onset seizures that have no specific location.
In infants, seizures can be attributed to:
- Oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or delivery
- Hemorrhaging (bleeding) in baby's brain during delivery or labor
- Infections to mother or fetus during pregnancy
- Prolonged labor
- Infections and sepsis
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Bilirubin encephalopathy (Kernicterus)
- Abnormal fetal position or presentation
As a parent, there are many types of seizures you should look out for. The most common seizures in children include:
- Subtle seizures that occur frequently
- Clonic seizures that come on slowly and affect one part of the body
- Myoclonic seizures, which include rapid movements and jerking
- Tonic seizures, which tend to last longer
As medical cannabis makes headway, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first-ever drug to be extracted from marijuana. Called Epidiolex, it consists of highly purified cannabidiol (CBD). While the drug contains THC, it does not induce a mind or body-altering high.
The drug was approved for children ages 2 and older who suffer from two conditions that can cause frequent seizures in children and can result in serious complications or death. Epidiolex will be used to treat:
- Lennox-Gastaut: This is a rare and serious condition of epilepsy that begins in children ages 2 to 6. The seizures can come frequently and can range in severity. This condition can also result in learning disabilities, developmental delays, and behavioral challenges as children progress in age.
- Dravet syndrome: This is a rare form of epilepsy that affects infants. The seizures come frequently and can be difficult to control. They’re often induced by fevers or increases in body temperature (also known as febrile seizure). There is currently no known cure for this condition.
If your child suffers from seizures due to a birth injury, it’s best that you speak to an experienced attorney who can identify where negligence existed. The last thing any parent wants is for his or her child to suffer a life-long, debilitating condition that can result in costly medical bills, pain and suffering.
Contact Tyrone Law Firm, PC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss your options.