A double-blind trial published in the “Lancet” states that cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective adjunct treatment for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The findings of the study showed a significant drop in the number and frequency of drop seizures.
The trial was conducted at 24 different centers across the United States, Poland, and the Netherlands. The study involved 171 patients suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, who were not responding to the antiepileptic medications. These patients were showing slow (<3 Hz) with spike-and-wave patterns on the electroencephalogram. The patients were put into a four-week baseline period, wherein they were administered with only antiepileptic drugs (AED).
The results showed clinical evidence of >1 common seizure type for ≥6 months with negligible response to AED. Additionally, the baseline data showed ≥2 drop seizures on weekly basis during the period.
After this, the researchers randomly selected 86 patients to administer 20 mg/kg of oral cannabidiol on a daily basis. Similarly, the rest of the 85 participants received a matched placebo daily for the next 14 weeks. Cannabidiol was an adjunct drug as the patients were already on conventional antiepileptic drugs during the trial.
The patients who received cannabidiol showed a 43.9% reduction in the monthly drop seizure frequency. On the other hand, the placebo group experienced a 21.8% reduction. The percentage of side effects was higher in the cannabidiol group in comparison to placebo (86% and 69% respectively). However, the researchers maintained that these side effects were of mild severity.
At the end of the 14 weeks, the researchers compared the baseline and treatment data. The comparative analysis examined the change in frequency of monthly drop seizures for all the patients. The findings concluded that cannabidiol is effective in reducing the frequency of total seizures coupled with non-drop seizures. In other words, the study showed that cannabidiol has broad-spectrum effects to reduce seizures in patients.
The researchers also said that the findings of the trial reflect the interaction between AED and CBD. However, a long-term study on the interaction of these drugs is required to incorporate these findings into clinical care.