Dravet syndrome is a complex childhood epilepsy disorder associated with drug-resistant seizures; it affects 1 in 15,700 people. Those who are diagnosed with this rare disorder face a high mortality rate.
Seizures usually start within a child’s first year of life. The first seizure can happen with a fever and may be a seizure involving jerking movements on one side of the body.
These seizures often last more than 5 minutes, and quite often result in a condition where seizures do not stop, or occur close together. Typically these seizures recur every few weeks in infancy and early childhood.
It is crucial for patients with this condition to be on proper medication to manage the frequent and prolonged seizures that come with this disorder. Treatment should involve finding the best possible combination of medicines to treat the seizures and prevent future seizure emergencies.
Unfortunately, most children who suffer from Dravet syndrome develop varying degrees of developmental disability.
A recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that, when added to their current anti-seizure regimen, cannabidiol was helpful in reducing the frequency of convulsive seizures in children and young adults. This is a hopeful breakthrough for parents of children with this rare condition.
In 2018, the FDA approved cannabidiol drugs for treating Dravet Syndrome in patients 2 years of age and over. A few months after the approval, cannabidiol drugs were rescheduled by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule V drug.
When CBD is added to an anti-seizure regime, it has been found to reduce the frequency of convulsive seizures in children and young adults.