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Medicinal Cannabis, its not Brain Surgery…..

hemisphere
Just a a quick post today. MCANZ has heard second hand anecdotal stories from an NZ Refugee to Colorado, that CBD rich Cannabis oil has worked on children for seizures where this 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 an ethical 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??

 

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