Medicinal Cannabis, its not Brain Surgery…..

hemisphere
Just a a quick post today. I have heard second hand anecdotal stories from a NZ Refugee to Colorado, that CBD rich Cannabis oil has worked on children for seizures where a much more drastic (and rare) procedure has failed.

I present to you the most radical and invasive treatment for seizures generated by only part of the brain, the Hemispherectomy.  Judging from this picture, it is as bad as it sounds.  Despite being so drastic, it actually has good results on average, with a close to 75% success rate.  Almost the entire Hemisphere of the brain that has unusual activity leading to seizures is removed…..

The brain has a significant ability to recover from this procedure, (neuroplasticity) and generally, the younger the procedure is preformed, the better the results. It actually doesn’t effect cognition as such when done young, in the happier cases, kids can obtain above average academically. Most are left with physical symptoms similar to a stroke, blindness or vision issues in one eye, and motor impairments down one side of the body, though these side effects pale into comparison to the risks for children on the medical equivalent of death row.

Although not part of the Hippocratic Oath, a key principle guiding modern medicine is  “first, do no harm” which is where the preference for Conservative or Non-invasive treatments stems from. So we have a dilemma, the use of an experimental medicine with scant but positive scientific research and attached legal baggage, versus a rare, but extreme, and on average effective treatment for those children with life threatening seizures.

As a parent, how would you feel if you agreed to lop off a chunk of your child’s brain, and the procedure fails…… desperate?

Desperate enough to move to Colorado to try something new? How would you then feel if you reduced the frequency, duration and severity of seizures by over 75% with a fairly basic plant derived preparation??

pretty good? how about only trying it after already having lopped out a sizeable chunk of you child’s brain?
Guilty in hindsight, though to be fair, this is new ground.

Going forward I would lay the blame at the surgeons feet, as the evidence continues to stack up in favor of Medicinal Cannabis, there is no excuse to not try a moderate risk drug over such a radical procedure…..

Out

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1 Comment

  1. as a follow up to this I have done an OIA request on invasive procedures for epilepsy in NZ
    https://fyi.org.nz/request/2560-statistics-on-invasive-procedure-for-epilepsy/new

    Reply

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