Tags Posts tagged with "Autism"


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Physicians will not prescribe marijuana to treat autism in children because no information exists to support such a course of therapy . However, the research does not exist because of medical establishment worries about marijuana testing, with its many active compounds seen as conceivably uncontrollable variables, on children. In the absence of practical information, however, is a growing body of anecdotal proof that marijuana is making autistic children healthier and happier. Some physicians are listening.

Doctor Daniele Piomelli, one of the world’s top neuroscientists and endocannabinoid researchers stated, “Anecdotes should not be dismissed.” The University of California-Irvine faculty member will not consider prescribing marijuana at this time, but is aware of the increasing desire for it. Piomelli continued, “An anecdote is a pointer. It’s something that suggests something needs to be either proven or disproven.”

One scientist attempting to do just that is Doctor Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico. His alternative treatment includes his creation of SURF4DEM, a foundation that introduces children and families affected by autism to the therapeutic benefits of surfing. Martinez is studying the therapeutic possibilities of treating children who have autism with CBD oil, and reports positive results. He recounted one particular case in which a child he treated spoke his first words after receiving a twice-daily spray of hemp oil. After three weeks, the child went from being non-verbal to developing considerable language skills.

Martinez stated, “initially the child would become so frustrated with his inability to communicate, he would would act out and injure himself. But, now that he can express himself, he laughs and enjoys life.” Martinez continued, “It’s incredible to see a child go from being non-communicative to achieving a significant improvement in quality of life, for both the child and his family.”

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After witnessing marijuana’s progression with treating epilepsy, an Israeli pediatrician has started a clinical test to analyze the effects of medical cannabis on children with autism as well as adults. According to Haaretz, Dr. Adi Eran, head of the pediatrics neurology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, who will be heading up the endeavor, which is in the process of acquiring permits from the Health Ministry. The research will reportedly involve 120 people with autism, male and female, ages ranging between 4 to 30, who are defined as low to medium functioning. Participants will be given cannabis oils free of THC but strong in CBD.

“Per the norm in proper clinical research, participants will be divided into two groups: the test group that actually ingests the oil, and the control subjects who will be given placebos,” Haaretz reported. “After a test period during which the effects on the patients will be recorded, treatment will be halted for a month, then the groups will be reversed—the test group will become the control group and vice versa. Again, as is typical in such research, at no point will subjects or their families know whether the patient is receiving CBD or a placebo.”

According to the Jewish News Service, the research will focus on behavioral manifestations such as physical aggression and attacks stemming from acute anxiety. However cannabis oil is not a distinguished treatment for autism, Eran explained that several dozen Israelis suffering from disorder have received approved prescriptions due to the severity of their symptoms, and anecdotal evidence has shown cannabis oil to be effective.

“It isn’t that they’re stoned because the oil has no psycho-active component,” said pediatric nurse Naama Saban. “Their parents say the quality of life has completely changed. That for the first time, their little kids can have friends over and the big brother doesn’t go wild.”

Records state that a subcommittee of the Health Ministry is currently examining rules that would establish guidelines for using medical marijuana to treat autism.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s best state regulator turned down a state panel’s plea to let medical marijuana be a part of medical care for autism on Thursday. The choice was preceded by years of attempts by families of autistic children, lawyers and advocators to have Michigan become the first state to allow marijuana used to treat autism. Mike Zimmer has been appointed the director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). According to him, he is worried that the approval would be applied to the cases of Autism that do not require marijuana and its treatment. Another thing that was noted was that parents would need to get the approval of two medical doctors, even if they are not specialized in treating autism.

Zimmer says that the decision to allow medical marijuana to be used for the treatment of autism may do more harm than good to children whose autism cases are not as severe. Dr. Harry Chugani – chief of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and a national authority on autism – followed these words with a supporting testimony. Chugani claimed “the vast majority of kids with autism do not need pot, and I won’t sign for it.” He added that the drug should only be used on those with “very bad behaviors, aggression, meltdowns.”

Following the release of Zimmer’s decision, Chugani was unable to be contacted. Zimmer’s decision also noted there was not enough scientific research to prove that using marijuana for autism would be beneficial. Robin Schneider is a spokeswoman for the National Patients Rights Association, a medical-marijuana advocacy group based in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. She said that the worry of there not being research is due to the conditions that are clearly aided by the drug since most research has been declared illegal to portray.

“But in this circumstance, the petitioner did an incredible job of putting together a great deal of scientific information,” said Schneider. “It’s my understanding that she is leaving the state.”

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When actor Jim Carrey co-opted the character of a distressed boy diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in an attempt to back up the actor’s perspective about vaccines, he inadvertently got people focused on TSC, which unlike vaccines, that have to do with autism. In utilizing the role of Alex Echols, for which actor Jim Carrey later apologized, Carrey may also have brought attention to another topic of conversation in autism circles: the use of cannabis as a therapy method.

Alex’s mother and father have a blog where they have written about Alex and his needs for many years. Among those needs, they go back and forth in a discussion about therapeutic cannabis, which they have said helps Alex with his self-injurious behaviors.
The Echols are not alone in their convictions abut cannabis as an intervention for neurological issues. A good amount of parents and some clinicians also have stated that the plant and its active chemical might provide an efficient treatment for some of these severe behaviors in correlation to autism and for schizophrenia, as well.

Just various other outlets of neuroactive compounds, marijuana has double the possibility to hold an advantage or become damaging, depending on which compound is the focus. One of its active ingredients, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, acts through a signaling system that incorporates some of the same components associated with a typical signaling in schizophrenia. In reference to Tori Rodriguez, writing at Psychiatry Advisor, research have displayed interesting parallels between altered brain function measures in individuals with schizophrenia and people who were under the influence of marijuana.

Thus, THC, it seems, is ‘pro-psychotic’ and there is a chicken-egg question about whether or not it adds to the growth or onset of psychosis reeled issues such as schizophrenia or if people with such symptoms might be more likely to reach out for it as self-medication.
The only known US Food and Drug Administration approved cannabis related medicine that is currently available is a synthetic version of THC, for alleviating nausea and vomiting related to various cancer treatments and weight loss in connection with AIDS. Though there is not much on the approved drug table for individuals who have schizophrenia.

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