Posted on Feb 02, 2019, 10 p.m.
Improving symptoms associated with autism spectral disorders has been challenging, but some reports have shown that treatment with various cannabis oils has eased various ASD symptoms.
A new study from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center has shown that cannabis as a treatment for autism spectral disorders appears to be a well tolerated, safe, and effective option to relieve symptoms including seizures, tics, depression, restlessness, and rage attacks in a cohort of patients aged 18 and under, as published in Scientific Reports
Researchers reported that overall more than 80% of the parents reported significant of moderate improvements in their children. Data was collected and analyzed from the treatment program of 188 ASD patients treated with medical cannabis, majority of which had treatments based on cannabis oil containing 30% CBD and 1.5% THC; patient global assessment, symptoms, and side effects were primary outcomes of interest and were assessed by structured questionnaires at 6 months.
30% of subjects reported improvements six months after treatments, 53.7% reported moderate improvements, and 15% report having slight or no change; quality of life, mood, and ability to perform activities of daily living were assessed prior to treatment and again at 6 months. Prior to treatment good quality of life was reported by 31.3% of the subject; after 6 months good quality of life increased to 66.8%; and positive mood went from 42% before treatment to 63.5% at 6 months.
Ability to shower and dress independently significantly improved from only 25.4% before treatment to 42.9% at 6 months. Sleep and concentration was reported at 3.3% and 0% respectively prior to treatment which increased to 24.7 and 14% during active treatment.
Researchers were encouraged by their findings, but caution against self medicating and suggest larger controlled studies are needed to determine if the results can be replicated. This study suggests that cannabis treatment is safe and can help to improve ASD symptoms and improve ASD patient quality of life; double blind placebo controlled trials are crucial for better understandings of the effects of cannabis on ASD patients.
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