The University of Nebraska Medical Center is seeking 25 patients for a clinical research study that investigates the use of cannabidiol in patients with drug resistant epilepsy when taken in addition to current medication. Cannabidiol is an extract from the Cannabis sativa plant.
Dr. Chris Kratochvil is the associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC and vice president of research at Nebraska Medicine. He says, “One of the aspects of this study is that we will be able to take a look at cannabidiol, which is a novel investigational treatment and see do we think that the use of this can be safe and can be effective for the treatment of seizure disorders.”
A UNMC committee will select participants. To be considered, patients must have treatment resistant seizures even with the use of current available treatment. Patients must be between the ages of 1 to 60, be a resistant of the State of Nebraska and have their records sent for review. The study requires up to 15 in-person visits, phone calls and email visits. The study could extend beyond two years.
The study was made possible by Legislative Bill 390, sponsored by Bellevue State Senator Sue Crawford. Senator Crawford says, “Many of them have children who have tried many of the existing medical products for epilepsy and still their children continue to have seizures and so they’re asking for a way to try another product that might give them hope.”
The bill authorized $500,000 in state funding to UNMC to cover the clinical and administrative costs of the study. GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom is supplying the investigational medication at no cost.