CBD treatment improved nonseizure outcomes, reduced seizure burden in epilepsy


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CBD treatment improved nonseizure outcomes, reduced seizure burden in epilepsy
CBD treatment improved nonseizure outcomes, reduced seizure burden in epilepsy

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January 05, 2024

2 min read

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Key takeaways:

  • Researchers analyzed survey responses from 498 caregivers of those with Lennox Gastaut or Dravet syndromes.
  • 93% of caregivers wished to continue CBD treatment for their charges.

Caregivers for those with Lennox Gastaut and Dravet syndrome reported that cannabidiol treatment led to improved nonseizure outcomes and reduced seizure burden, according to a study from Epilepsy Research.

“Many antiseizure medications are available for the treatment of seizures associated with [Lennox Gastaut Syndrome] and [Dravet syndrome]; however, the effect on nonseizure outcomes remains relatively unclear,” Anne T. Berg, PhD, an adjunct professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote.

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Berg and fellow researchers sought to identify the most likely nonseizure outcomes to change in patients with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) after treatment with cannabidiol (CBD).

They collected data from the BEhavior, COgnition, and More with Epidiolex (BECOME) study, a 20-minute, cross-sectional, online survey based on questions from validated measures as well as previously published U.S.-based caregiver reports from Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ patient/caregiver database of those with LGS or DS who had been treated with a 100 mg/mL oral CBD solution for 3 months. A total of 498 caregivers for affected individuals (80% LGS, 20% DS) completed the survey, which asked them to compare a range of nonseizure outcomes over the previous month with treatment to the period before CBD initiation. Caregivers were asked to rate their impression of changes by utilizing symmetrical Likert scales.

According to results, 85% of respondents reported improvements in at least one survey question for all nonseizure-related domains (alertness, cognition and executive function; emotional functioning; language and communication [79% in nonverbal patients, 74% in verbal]); activities of daily living; sleep and physical functioning. A total of 93% of caregivers reported planning to continue CBD treatment due to reduced seizure burden and improvements in nonseizure-related outcomes.

Caregivers also reported improvements in seizure-related domains, including overall seizure frequency (85%), overall seizure severity (76%), seizure-free days per week for at least one seizure type (67%) and seizure freedom during the past month (16%).

Data further showed the majority of respondents who reported reduction in seizure frequency also reported improvements in nonseizure outcomes (51%–80%), although improvements in nonseizure outcomes (18%–56%) were seen in affected individuals who either had no change or worsening of seizure frequency.

“These results support the need for future studies to confirm the effect of CBD treatment on nonseizure outcomes and distinguish whether the nonseizure effects are secondary to seizure control or a primary effect of treatment,” Berg and colleagues wrote.

Sources/Disclosures

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Disclosures: Berg reports receiving speaker fees from BioMarin and advisory panel fees from Neurocrin and Zogenix. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

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