What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is a neurological disorder and the characteristics of such are particular to each individual, that is why it is described as a spectrum disorder. Some of the issues autistic children may experience are developmental delays, impaired social skills, limited range of interests, repetitive behaviors, difficulty with coordination, and balance/muscle weaknesses. Autistic children perceive and interact with their environment differently than other “neural-typical” children. They may experience dyspraxia, dyslexia, and anxiety as well.
What is Epilepsy and why do Epilepsy and ASD have such a strong correlation?
Epilepsy is also a neurological disorder characterized by individuals suffering from seizures and headaches. Research has shown that a third to a fifth of people with autism also suffer from Epilepsy. Why is that? Doctors believe one potential reason is that the developmental delays associated with autism could contribute to the seizures by having a noticeable impact on the brain’s neurons, and the ability to absorb and process information. Autistic individual’s brains operate differently, whether because of genetic or environmental conditions. Their brains can be prone to certain disturbances within the neurological pathways and that could then potentially cause seizures.
CBD Hemp Oil – What is it, How can it Help?
Marijuana has two different cannabinoids, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. Cannabinoids affect our cannabinoid receptors which impact our bodies in various ways. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce intoxicating effects.
CBD hemp oils are oils that contain concentrated amounts of CBD. Researchers now believe that CBD stimulates our brains to produce more naturally occurring cannabinoids and directs our bodies to use them which has a profound effect on our immune systems.
According to a very promising study about to be published in the medical journal Neurology, Israeli scientists found compelling evidence that medical marijuana is an effective form of therapy for autistic children. Conditions in 80% of the participants were improved. These children had previously shown no previous improvement with the conventional drug therapies.
Karl Deisseroth’s lab at Stanford University produced promising evidence that targeting the GABA system of the brain could help those suffering from autism. GABA is the neurotransmitter that our brains naturally produce to inhibit sensory signaling so we can process the information coherently without it overwhelming us. Deisseroth found that by increasing the production of GABA in mice with autistic-like symptoms, the mice’s social behavior normalized and they spent more time interacting socially. When providing the mice with CBD hemp oil, scientists observed a noticeable improvement in the mice’s social interactions and the mice spent more time interacting with each other.
In 2018, A CBD based drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA as a therapy for those suffering from two different forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS).