5
   

Treatment of Autism with Cannabis. Interesting.

 
 
Sglass
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 03:09 am
Can Autistic Children Benefit From Marijuana?
By Deborah Huso

When California mom Mieko Hester-Perez appeared on "Good Morning America" Monday morning to tell the world she has been administering medical marijuana to her 10-year-old autistic son under the advisement of a doctor, controversy ignited. Her son Joey, who had long exhibited self-injurious and aggressive behavior, became so unwilling to eat that his weight had dropped to 46 pounds. It was then Hester-Perez knew she had to do something to save him. She claims that since giving him doses of marijuana in brownies, he has shown a substantial change in both his appetite and behavior.

Hester-Perez is not alone.

Rhode Island mom Marie Myung-Ok Lee gives her nine-year-old autistic son medical marijuana as well. She decided it was far less detrimental to him than the side effects of common antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal. She has been blogging about her experiences giving her son cannabis-infused tea and cookies and claims it has calmed his temperament and eased his troubles at school.

Watch Mieko Hester-Perez discuss her controversial cure on Good Morning America. Story continues below video.



PRODUCTION PLAYER! DO NOT DELETE.


But is it safe? Various studies have been conducted, showing that patients suffering from many illnesses and disorders benefit from marijuana use. However, autism isn't one of them. Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), is skeptical and even deeply concerned that the media focus on these kids and their parents is taking away from the real medical benefits of marijuana. Instead, it's placing emphasis on a population where the effects of cannabis have not even been studied. "Adolescents are rarely included in clinical trials on marijuana," he says.

Lester Grinspoon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry emeritus at Harvard Medical School and author of "Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine", says he believes clinical trials in children will come in the future as the public becomes more comfortable with the medical uses of cannabis. However, he doesn’t think parents whose children are suffering from severe psychiatric disorders should necessarily be deterred by the lack of studies. “If there is a brain disorder where a lot of violence is involved, cannabis isn’t going to take this away, but it makes it more manageable,” Grinspoon says, “and it’s less toxic than Risperdal.”

“I don’t believe there are any controlled studies in children,” he adds, “but I don’t believe marijuana is going to hurt anybody as long as it’s controlled. Nobody in the world has ever died of marijuana.”

Ronald Drabman, Ph.D., retired professor, director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Clinical Psychology Training and an expert in behavior modification as it relates to children suffering from autism, says he has never heard of using marijuana to treat autism. "I am always suspicious when science isn't consulted," Drabman says. "Until double-blind placebo tests have been done, I'd be very skeptical about this."

Drabman says there have been a lot of unusual treatments prescribed for autism over the years, and some have seemed to work anecdotally but fail once administered in clinical trials. "The placebo effect can be very strong, especially when parents want to see their children get better," he points out. "The fact that a couple of parents say it's helping their kids isn't very meaningful."
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 3,749 • Replies: 13
No top replies

 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 07:44 am
Quote:
"The fact that a couple of parents say it's helping their kids isn't very meaningful."


Unless, of course, you're one of those parents with one of those kids. It's pretty meaningful then.

I've often wondered if a little pot might help Mo, and I'd be willing to try it over the other medical options, but I'm not ready to go there.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 02:57 pm
I'm always amazed at the opinions of experts who've never touched the stuff. I can absolutely see pot helping these kids. At the very least, it probably at lot less harmful than the drugs the experts would shove down kids throats.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 04:55 pm
@Ceili,
I believe you are right about the relative dangers. If I were in that position, I would definately consider giving it a try.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 05:14 pm
@boomerang,
Marijuana, tobacco, and other substances that cross the blood-brain barrier when inhaled, or, depending on the compound, also injected (eating the stuff or sticking patches of it on your skin doesn't work, or not as well) have long been known to alleviate symptoms of countless diseases:
Quote:
...these compounds, known as cannabinoids, and the receptors they bind to, play a role in diseases, including schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and obesity.

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/16994/
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 10:20 pm
@High Seas,
MEDICAL CANNABIS FOR ADHD. I SAY YES.

-- In California, the state with the nation's most permissive medical marijuana law, some children with attention deficit hyperacitivty disorder, or ADHD, are being treated with marijuana -- a fact that has sparked a heated debate over the move.


Reliable figures on the use of marijuana to treat ADHD are hard to come by. Though California says it has issued over 36,000 medical marijuana cards since 2004, the state does not compile statistics on prescriptions for specific conditions, like ADHD. And many doctors and patients are reluctant to talk about it. Still, experts say such prescriptions are becoming more common as the number of pot dispensaries and doctors prescribing marijuana continues to grow.

And not everyone is happy about it.

"Let me count the ways in which prescribing marijuana for teens with ADHD is a bad idea," said Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. Marijuana, Hinshaw said, is a "cognitive disorganizer" which produces roughly the same affect in users those associated with ADHD.




"The active ingredient in pot, THC, causes short term memory problems and inattention," Hinshaw said, "the very same things you want a medicine for ADHD to help alleviate."

Since marijuana has not been put through the FDA approval process, very few reliable studies have been conducted to show how it may affect ADHD, Hinshaw said.

But if the idea of prescribing pot to minors seems counter-intuitive, it might be worth considering that Ritalin and Aderall, two of the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD, are essentially amphetamines. And Hinshaw said hundreds of studies show that in low dosages amphetamines are an effective treatment for ADHD.

"I'd have no hesitation of giving a youngster with ADHD a trial of oral marijuana," said Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of "Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine."

"For some kids it appears to be more affective than traditional treatments. And marijuana certainly has fewer potential dangers than Ritalin."

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children with ADHD show a variety of hyperactive symptoms, including difficulty concentrating or following directions, being easily distracted and increased hyperactivity or fidgeting.

Roughly 4.5 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, but scientists are unsure as to what causes the condition.

"My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6," a Grass Valley, Calif. woman who wished to remain anonymous told Sphere. "He was hyperactive, and had trouble in school, but we didn't want to put him on Ritalin. Too many side effects. When he got to high school, I suddenly noticed that he'd calmed and could concentrate. I couldn't figure it out. Then he told me that he'd started smoking pot."

Now 28, the woman says her son still smokes pot, and has very little problem with his ADHD.

While Grinspoon concedes that the evidence of marijuana's effectiveness in treating conditions like ADHD is mostly anecdotal, he believes that practitioners would be wise to start listening to the everyday experiences of their patients. "It has been hard to collect hard data because the federal government has, for so long, said, no, marijuana is not a drug."

Hinshaw is intrigued by success stories of patients treating ADHD with marijuana, but he cautions against euphoria in the absence of data. "People with ADHD are terrible at self-reporting, that's one of the things that characterizes the condition. Still, this is worth looking into. Any hypothesis that adheres to the proper ethical limits is worth investigating."

At Harborside Health Center in Oakland, for instance, a doctor's recommendation for marijuana is verified with the physician, then the medical board is consulted to make sure the doctor is in good standing. In the case of minors, only a parent or guardian is allowed to enter the dispensary.

As for the future of treating ADHD in kids with marijuana, Grinspoon said he's optimistic. "In the long run, I think it will prove to be a wonder drug, and a less toxic one at that."



Follow Sphere On Facebook
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 10:35 pm
@Sglass,
Sglass wrote:


But if the idea of prescribing pot to minors seems counter-intuitive, it might be worth considering that Ritalin and Aderall, two of the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD, are essentially amphetamines. And Hinshaw said hundreds of studies show that in low dosages amphetamines are an effective treatment for ADHD.

"I'd have no hesitation of giving a youngster with ADHD a trial of oral marijuana," said Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of "Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine."

"For some kids it appears to be more affective than traditional treatments. And marijuana certainly has fewer potential dangers than Ritalin."



That sums it up for me. I would really like to see it go through the FDA approval process, but I don't see any pharmaceutical company undertaking the expense for something that is so easily grown locally. Since it isn't going to happen that way, it seems the least dangerous alternative.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 10:50 pm
@roger,
No opinion on this, but interested.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 10:54 pm
I'm really glad Mo doesn't have any medical pot because I'd be out in the garage having at it tonight.....

(And I don't even like pot.)
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 01:14 am
I truly hope responsible cannabis legislation is passed.
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 10:46 am
@roger,
Roger I am ADD and was treated with ritalin as an adult. It is awful stuff. I went down to a size 6 and was always aware that "I was on something". I choose not to medicate, or should I say speed my brain out on ritalin.

Welbutrin is an effective medication. The side effects were insombia and constipation.

But being retired I don't gotta take nothing.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 11:47 am
@roger,
roger wrote:
.....I don't see any pharmaceutical company undertaking the expense for something that is so easily grown locally. Since it isn't going to happen that way, it seems the least dangerous alternative.

That's not correct - pharmaceutical companies have been working for years on synthesizing or isolating precisely such compounds: they protect brain cells and may repair existing brain damage. I'm quoting from a proprietary database, but you may be able to locate additional data online:
Quote:
Cannabinoids (CBs) are attributed neuroprotective effects in vivo. Here, we determined the neuroprotective potential of CBs during neuronal damage in excitotoxically lesioned organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs). OHSCs are the best characterized in vitro model to investigate the function of microglial cells in neuronal damage since blood-borne monocytes and T-lymphocytes are absent and microglial cells represent the only immunocompetent cell type.


P.S. keywords to search for are:
Neuronal damage; N-methyl-d-aspartate; Neuroprotection; 9-Carboxy-11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; N-arachidonoylethanolamine; 2-Arachidonoylglycerol
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 12:20 pm
@High Seas,
More from another database, article abstract:
Quote:

Source: Cannabinoids as Pharmacotherapies for Neuropathic Pain: From the Bench to the Bedside
Neurotherapeutics, Volume 6, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 713-737
Elizabeth J. Rahn, Andrea G. Hohmann
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 11:04 am
Brings new meaning to "high-functionaing autistic." HAHAHAHAH.


Seriously, though, bookmarking in case this topic revives.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Immortality and Doctor Volkov - Discussion by edgarblythe
Sleep Paralysis - Discussion by Nick Ashley
On the edge and toppling off.... - Discussion by Izzie
Surgery--Again - Discussion by Roberta
PTSD, is it caused by a blow to the head? - Question by Rickoshay75
THE GIRL IS ILL - Discussion by Setanta
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Treatment of Autism with Cannabis. Interesting.
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 05/08/2021 at 08:34:02