Cannabis as an Alternative to antipsychotics and antidepressants?
Medical Cannabis seems to be serious in behaviour to reduce abnormalities in children and adolescents with an intellectual disability. Such a treatment could represent a natural Alternative to currently used methods.
In a pilot study under the leadership of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), it was found that Cannabidiol (medicinal marijuana) can reduce adolescents with an intellectual disability, the occurrence of behavioural problems. The results of the study were published in the English journal “the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology”.
How many people took part in the study?
The small randomized controlled study included only eight Adolescents aged 8 to 16 years. These individuals took over a period of eight weeks in either Cannabidiol or a Placebo. All Participants were recruited from pediatric clinics, both from hospitals and from private pediatric practices.
Cannabidiol for the treatment of behavioural problems?
The researchers stated that their study was the first study of Cannabidiol for the treatment of severe behavioral problems in children and adolescents with an intellectual disability. Most of the Participants in the study were suffering from autism.
Impact of behavioral problems
Severe behavior problems such as irritability, Aggression and self-injury in children and adolescents with an intellectual disability, often a trigger of additional functional limitations, missed learning opportunities and reduced quality of life.
Often antipsychotics and antidepressants
Conventional psychotropic medications, including antipsychotics and antidepressants, are prescribed according to a statement by the research group of Australian paediatricians for almost half of the young people with an intellectual disability, although there has been little evidence for the effectiveness of the medication. In view of the extremely difficult-to-treat behavioral problems in these individuals new, safer interventions are required to treat this very vulnerable group of patients, adds the Team.
Side effects is a major Problem
The currently used drugs carry a high risk of side effects, with vulnerable people with mental disabilities are less able to report on any side effects. Common side effects of antipsychotics, such as weight gain and metabolic syndrome, have enormous health implications for this group of people that has already at increased risk for chronic diseases, explain the researchers.
The cases In which Cannabidiol is currently being used?
There is a strong interest from parents and physicians to medical Cannabis as a treatment of severe behavior seems to be abnormalities in adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Cannabidiol is already used increasingly for the treatment of a number of medical and psychiatric disorders in adults and epilepsy in children.
What caused Cannabidiol in the current investigation?
By treatment with Cannabidiol, a clinically significant change in the irritability, Aggression, self-injury, and the crying of the Participants was achieved. In addition, the Intervention proved to be safe and was well tolerated by the majority of the participating persons, report the researchers. The study found that Cannabidiol, in General, was well tolerated and no serious side effects have been reported. All parents reported that they would recommend to families with children with similar problems, the application, so the research group.
Further research is already planned
Although the pilot study was not large enough to make definitive statements, speak the first results strongly for a larger follow-up study. Only a large-scale randomized controlled trial may provide the final results, the necessary Changes to the prescribing and treatment guidelines promote, emphasize the researchers. They are already planning a large study to check the results. (as)