Epilepsy is a neurological condition which affects approximately 1 in 100 people. Depending on how wide spread in the brain the neuroligical disturbance is (the focus), there are a range of possible seizures from lapses in consciousness (absence) or convulsions (Grand Mal) to grimacing or repetitive movements (temporal) to just odd sensations (auras). Epilepsy is as individual as the people who have it and everyone has their own patterns of seizures. There are sometimes triggers for seizures such as sleep loss, low blood sugar, stress or even boredom. Some common causes of epilpsy include head trauma, birth injury, hormonal imbalances, and viral attacks.
Some kinds of epilepsy can be well controlled by anti-convulsant drugs, but a few forms do not react well to these. Anti-convulsant drugs have potentially serious side-effects, including bone softening, reduced production of red blood cells, swelling of the gums, and emotional disturbances. Other occasional effects include uncontrollable rapid eye movements, loss of motor co-ordination, coma and even death.
Cannabis has long been known to have anti-convulsant properties, and these were investigated in the 19th Century. Cannabis analogues have been shown to prevent seizures when given in combination with prescription drugs. Patients report that they can wean themselves off prescription drugs, and still not experience seizures, if they have a regular supply of cannabis.
Epilepsy Association of New Zealand
09 373 4312
7a Taylors Rd