Article by Angela Mulholland, CTV News
One of the researchers launching a study into the potential benefits of cannabis oil on childhood epilepsy says he is interested to learn how the drug affects the children’s quality of life.
Dr. Richard Huntsman, a pediatric neurologist and a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, is leading the cannabis oil study along with Dr. Richard Tang-Wai, a pediatric epileptologist at the University of Alberta.
The main goal of their study is to learn if concentrated cannabis oil can be used safely in children with epilepsy. But they also want to look at whether it helps control seizures and whether it helps children’s lives improve, he told CTV News Channel Saturday.
“For me, I would feel as a parent, having better quality of life would be just as important as control of seizures, so that’s something we really want to look at,” he said.
The study is due to recruit 30 children between the ages of one and 10 with severe epilepsy in Saskatoon first, then kids in other sites across Canada later.
The team will be focusing on kids with the most severe forms of epilepsy who don’t respond to regular treatments or who incur significant side effects from the usual treatments, Hunstman stressed. Some of these children have 50 to 300 seizures a day, struggle with basic life skills and have regressed developmentally because of their condition.