Medications Traditionally Used To Treat Autism
Traditional treatments for autism have been successful in helping manage symptoms for some. However, results can vary significantly, as is the case when treating any condition that involves behavioral and emotional regulation and neurological anomalies.
Currently, few autism medications exist, and there is no cure for the condition. Medications that are prescribed to people with autism are often used to treat specific symptoms, like insomnia, depression or seizures. The only autism medication for children currently approved by the Federal Drug Administration is Risperdal.
Israeli Researchers Find A Promising Connection Between Marijuana And Autism
While research on cannabis and autism is still in its early stages, a number of new studies are now in trial. Israel is leading the way in researching marijuanas effectiveness in reducing both seizures and behavioral challenges.
In 2019, Israels Ben Gurion University of the Negev released a study that shows a promising connection between marijuana and autism. The study followed 188 children with autism, aged 18 and under, for six months as they used cannabis oil for autism symptoms. The oil contained 30% cannabidiol oil and 1.5% tetrahydrocannabinol . According to the study, after six months of treatment more than 80% of participants reported significant or moderate improvement.
Patients experienced various cognitive improvements. Before the trial, only 3% of patients reported being able to get a good nights sleep during treatment, that number climbed to 25%. Concentration also dramatically improved, jumping from zero to 14% of patients being able to concentrate with treatment.
Behavioral side effects of autism, including seizures, restlessness, and rage attacks, were also significantly improved by the marijuana treatment. Nearly 85% of patients had their seizures completely disappear, 91% noticed an improvement in restlessness, and 90% reported a reduction in rage attacks.
Research On Using Cannabis For Autism
Due to the historic illegality of cannabis as a whole, there are only a handful of studies of marijuana and autism.
Fortunately, Israel has become one of the world leaders in cannabis research since they legalized medical cannabis back in 1992 and pioneered the cannabis research.
Israel is home to more than 100 studies exploring the many claimed medical properties of marijuana.
One Israeli study found that cannabis is very effective in reducing epileptic seizures and behavioral issues in children with autism.
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Single Substance Preparations Versus Whole
The advantages of using and studying formulations that contain isolated or synthetic compounds versus whole plant extracts are widely debated. By using single compounds the exact dosages and blood levels are easier to achieve, making such products more suitable for targeted treatment and precision medicine applications.
On the other hand, the evidence is accumulating on the claims that some of the active ingredients that are present in a whole plant extract but are naturally absent in extracted isolates or synthetic compound products have additional beneficial effects of their own. Apart from the more well-researched effects of cannabinoids such as CBC or CBG, the evidence is emerging on bioactivity of various terpenes. Myrcene, for example, has calming, muscle-relaxing, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects, while pinene, another terpene, has demonstrated broad-spectrum antibiotic effects in addition to its antidepressant-like activity .
The challenges surrounding full spectrum usage has prompted calls to develop and study 2-or 3-factor formulations that contain a limited number of isolated compounds for example, a patented formulation consisting of isolated CBD and another anti-inflammatory plant botanical known as spilanthol is soon entering clinical trials as a treatment for gastritis.
Why Autistic People Tend To Self
It was summer 2018, and I was talking to the governor of Colorado.
John Hickenlooper was, at that point, running for president . During this moment of our interview, however, I found myself speaking not just as a journalist, but as an autistic person. I felt the need to explain something important about neurodiversity to this powerful neurotypical man who told me he was concerned about allowing autistic people to smoke marijuana because he believed they could “have an inclination to bipolar” or become “almost schizophrenic.”
Hickenlooper mentioned an unnamed friend whose child had a bad reaction to the drug, although he seemed impressed by my argument that many of my successes occurred not in spite of but because I medicated myself with marijuana for various mental health ailments. A year later Hickenlooper seemed to acknowledge the validity of my perspective when he added, “I don’t know enough to be able to speak specifically about the autism spectrum. And I probably shouldn’t have said that.”
Hickenlooper’s press team did not respond to Salon’s request for comment on this article.
It was a particularly enlightening incident that came to mind this week as I interviewed a researcher whose new study reveals just how many autistic people choose to self-medicate.
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Eventually, however, she found that alcohol helped.
“Clearly more research is needed.”
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More About The Condition
Autism can cause sensory processing difficulties as it alters how nerve cells and synapses connect and organize. There is some evidence to suggest that those with autism are more likely to experience synesthesia, suggesting that there is definitely both an extreme sensitivity to light, taste, touch and sound and a crossing or joining of the senses to some degree. However, autism is also characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. Extreme anxiety and an inability to easily understand others is also a symptom of autism.
Cannabis may help for autism in several regards. One, cannabis could help regulate synapse signalling in those with autism. There are mutations of the protein neuroligin-3 found in those with autism, which can interfere with endocannabinoid signalling in the brain.
Two, CBD could possibly help modulate the immune system, which is found to be dysregulated in those with autism. Those with autism also seem shifts in their gut microbiota, and are prone to IBS. Again, cannabis could help treat these symptoms.
Three, those with autism are often prescribed a mixture of antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants. These all have a significant number of side-effects when compared to cannabinoid-based medications, and could be reduced or replaced.
What Terpenes Are Beneficial For Individuals With Autism
While specific terpenes in a cannabis product may be beneficial to individuals with Autism, the Australian medical cannabis product market doesnt have much choice.
There also isnt a huge amount of research into cannabis terpene profiles and benefits for Autism. Much more research needs to be done into what kind of terpene profile is best. The plants chemovar or strain can determine the terpene profile.
However, I would think that the most beneficial terpenes would be ones with calming or sedating effects such as myrcene, limonene or linalool. There may also be an important effect from anti-inflammatory terpenes in Autism to help calm neuroinflammation.
Again, these are all possibilities, but there isnt enough research to confirm. If we were to find out that these terpenes can help, we could have an exciting area of personalised medicine where wed create treatments specifically for the patients needs.
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Lifetime Monthly Alcohol Use Intoxication And Alcohol Dependence
As 98.8% of the sample reported using alcohol at least once during the lifetime, monthly alcohol use was defined as drinking at least once a month for 6 months or more. Drinking to intoxication was defined as drinking until drunkenness . Finally, DSM-IV alcohol-dependence diagnostic criteria were used to diagnose alcohol dependence. This diagnosis included the participants endorsing three or more of the seven diagnostic criteria within a 12-month period.
Dr Gupta’s Thoughts On Medical Marijuana
For CNN.com Dr. Gupta wrote, “There’s one thing I can’t stress enough: The core story of cannabis has never required me or anyone else to follow blindly. With medical marijuana, you aren’t asked to sacrifice your objectivity or your skepticism. You too will discover it if you diligently study the evidence from all over the world, spend days in the lab to really understand the cannabis molecules and visit patients whose lives truly depend on it. The real story of cannabis has always been rooted in facts, not faith. An Israeli agricultural engineer inspects marijuana plants at the BOL Pharma greenhouse in the country’s second-largest medical cannabis plantation, near Kfar Pines in northern Israel, on March 9, 2016. The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in the Jewish state, but for the past 10 years its therapeutic use has not only been permitted but also encouraged. Last year, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases. The purpose is not to cure them but to alleviate their symptoms. For too long, the real story of cannabis was drowned out in those echo chambers. Marijuana was preordained as having ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse’ despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. My team and I wanted you to hear the other side, the voices that had been drowned out by decades of this noise.”
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Best Cannabis Strains For Adhd/add
This is rather interesting, as 19 percent of children with autism also suffer from seizure disorders.
In a 2013 study, it was noted that the endocannabinoid system, and particularly its CB2 receptor, has potential therapeutic properties for managing autism. Tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the most researched active compounds from cannabis, can bind to that specific receptor.
Several studies conducted on mice have found a link between changes in the endocannabinoid system and alterations on the X chromosome, which is associated with autism development.
The most recent study from 2017 also suggests that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for managing neuroinflammation, which is associated with autism in children.
Can Cbd Help With Autism
Cannabidiol is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The benefit of CBD is that its non-psychotropic. It doesnt cause the high sensation that people often associate with cannabis.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoid receptors , and other receptors in the human body. These receptors are the ones that work with the neurotransmitters, usually manipulated when treating behavioural issues that are secondary to Autism. CBD is also known to help treat anxiety and agitation which individuals with Autism often display.
CBD can also affect receptors outside of the endocannabinoid system that are important for mood and behaviour. The activation of these receptors can affect the neurotransmitters that are:
For example, CBD affects serotonergic receptors. CBD can activate the receptors and mimic what some anxiolytic medications do.
CBD also affects the dopaminergic receptors, the dopamine receptors. These receptors are often affected by psychotic medication. So, its in this way that CBD can affect agitation and aggression.
There was also a study on children on the Autistic spectrum, which showed a lower concentration of endocannabinoids in their blood than neurotypical children.
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The Dilemma For Parents
But the lack of high-quality evidence and the legal status of marijuana in the United States, which varies from state to state, puts parents of children with severe ASD in a difficult position, and one that is potentially outside the law.
It remains illegal on a federal level.
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatricians opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational or medical use, although they do support further research. However, the organization has updated their policy to include a compassionate use clause, which specifies that some children with life-limiting or debilitating diseases may benefit from cannabinoids and cannot wait through a meticulous and lengthy research process.
Susanne Duvall, PhD, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University, has studied some of the ethical problems surrounding medical marijuana treatment for children with ASD.
She says that parents and primary doctors or pediatricians need to be able to have open conversations about medical marijuana, even if it means informing parents that it could be illegal.
And treating children with ASD also raises other important issues related to care.
Roughly 1 in 59 children have ASD, according to the
Treatment Considerations For Parents
Dr Holtzman said:
You need to take into consideration that there are possible side effects, although they are usually quite mild, especially with CBD. There are possible interactions with other medications. And, the long-term side effects of medicinal cannabis are unknown. We do not know if there are any long-term effects after using medicinal cannabis for 10 or 20 years. While cannabis has been used for tens of thousands of years, we dont have recorded medical data. We arent able to say that medical cannabis has no long-term effects.
We also dont know the exact effects of THC on the developing brain. Research shows that high dose THC in the adolescent brain may cause problems, but nothing that shows positives or negatives at low medical doses.
Before sharing some of the benefits Ive seen in treating children, I want to remind you that cannabis is not a magic cure, and its not an overnight process. We start with very low doses and titrate up very slowly in children. It takes time before seeing results if any.
That said, In some children, Ive been astounded at the benefits Ive seen in a short period of time in very low doses. But it doesnt always happen. I have, however, seen benefits such as children becoming more calm and able to follow instructions.
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Traditional Treatments For Adhd
ADHD was first identified in 1902 by pediatrician Sir George Still . In the century since, there has been a constant search for a remedy that works consistently. Therapy and medication have emerged as the go-to strategies for parents for children with ADHD, as well as people who struggle with the disorder as adults.
Is Marijuana The World’s Most Effective Treatment For Autism
It’s morning in Nahariya, a tiny Israeli town near the Lebanese border, and 4-year-old Benjamin is repeatedly smashing his head against the wall. He spins wildly in circles, screeching at full volume. As his mother tries frantically to calm him, he pulls down his pants and defecates on the floor.
When they leave their apartment, Benjamin wrestles free of her hand and nearly runs into oncoming traffic. Sharon attempts a trip to the supermarket but leaves before she finishes shopping because her son is screaming while he picks up items and throws them to the floor.
That was in October 2016, and typical of most days at the time. Sharon, a single mother who moved to Israel from the United States one year earlier, was alone and losing control. Benjamin was taking Ritalin, a drug usually associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , which he did not have. He’d also tried the antipsychotic ziprasidone and a mix of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. None of them helped, and he often became more hyperactive as they wore off.
All that changed a year ago, when Benjamin started taking marijuana. In the little apartment he shares with his mother, mornings are now relaxed and orderly. His transformation may signal the arrival of a long-awaited and desperately needed healing for the many others just like him: children living with severe autism.
A Last Option
Autism and Epilepsy: The Overlap
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Cannabinoid Regulation Of Progenitor And Neural Stem Cells
ECS is involved in the regulation of several aspects of brain development. CRs are expressed in the brain and throughout the nervous system since early embryonic development, and cannabinoids play a central role in creating the architecture and wiring of the brain. In the adult brain, CRs are present in neural progenitor/stem cells and control their self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation. These findings open the door for exploring cannabinoids in combination with stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for various neurological disorders .
In addition to neural stem cells, CRs also play a prominent role in regulating the development of non-neural progenitor cells, including immune cell differentiation, haematopoiesis and bone remodelling .
What This Means For You
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder or uses substances regularly, especially cannabis, it can be helpful to practice extra COVID safety precautions. Getting vaccinated, or getting a booster when it becomes available, can help keep you safe, regardless of whether you limit your substance use.
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Advice For Adhd Smokers Trying To Quit
Whether methylphenidate can help depends on the type of ADHD symptoms patients experience, Dr. Covey says. Between 2005 and 2008, Dr. Covey and her research group tested the idea that treatment with methylphenidate, by reducing the symptoms of ADHD, would improve the success of a smoking cessation treatment .
The study found that methylphenidate reduced ADHD symptoms, but it did not improve the overall quit rate, she says.
But when Dr. Covey analyzed the results more closely, she found that certain groups seemed to benefit from methylphenidate. Smokers with more severe ADHD symptoms did better with methylphenidate than smokers with less intense symptoms, and those who primarily had attention problems did better than those with hyperactivity problems. Another surprising finding that merits further study was that members of minority groups did better with methylphenidate compared to placebo.
3. Quitting will not make you more anxious or depressed.
A lot of people think smoking reduces anxiety. When smokers are under stress, the first thing they do is smoke a cigarette, Dr. Covey says. This is one reason people are afraid to even attempt quitting. And some older research did suggest depression could be a side effect of quitting.
The newest research shows that, for most people, mood improves or remains unchanged. In Dr. Coveys latest study, , signs of anxiety and depression were tracked in 110 smokers with ADHD who succeeded in quitting and 145 who were unable to quit.