August 31, 2018
Findings from the landmark study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on cannabidiol, or CBD oil, provide the published evidence of significant improvements in seizure frequency and other measures of efficacy in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, the results indicate use of CBD oil reduced adverse events and seizure severity, in addition to a reduction in overall seizure frequency.
The published results focus on 132 patients, 72 children and 60 adults, with intractable epilepsy who did not respond to traditional therapies. The study was launched in 2015 following an act by the Alabama legislature — commonly called Carly’s Law — that authorized the UAB Epilepsy Center and Children’s of Alabama to conduct studies of cannabidiol, a component of cannabis.
The study analyzed data from the 132 patients at baseline and at visits at 12, 24 and 48 weeks. Seizure frequency decreased from a mean of 144 seizures every two weeks at baseline to 52 seizures over two weeks at 12 weeks into the study. The reduction remained stable through the 48-week study period.
“This is a highly significant reduction in the number of seizures that the majority of patients experienced, nearly a two-thirds reduction across the entire study population,” said Martina Bebin, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine and principal investigator of the pediatric arm of the study. “Some patients experienced an even greater reduction of seizure frequency.”
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