Efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review

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“Introduction: The increasing popularity of cannabinoids for treating numerous neurological disorders has been reported in various countries. Although it reduces tetrahydrocannabinol psychoactivity, it helps patients tolerate higher doses and complements the anti-spasmodic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol. One of the most important potential of cannabinoids are related to its potential to help children with cerebral palsy, a contributor of lifelong disability. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: This review adhered to The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis 2020 guidelines. Seven databases, namely, Scopus, PubMed, EBSCO Host, ProQuest, Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar, and JSTOR, were used to identify relevant studies. Studies examining pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and reporting the efficacy and safety of medical cannabinoids through clinical trials, observational cross-sectional studies, or cohort designs were included. The outcomes of the studies included the efficacy of medical cannabinoids administered for spasticity, motor components, pain control, sleep difficulties, adverse effects, and seizure control.

Results: Of 803 identified articles, only three met the inclusion criteria for data synthesis. One study exhibited a moderate risk-of-bias. A total of 133 respondents, mainly from Europe, were investigated. Overall effectiveness and safety were considered good. However, the results are inconsistent, especially regarding spasticity treatment variables.

Conclusion: The anti-spasticity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure properties of cannabinoids might be beneficial for patients with cerebral palsy, although their effectiveness has not been widely studied. Further studies with larger sample sizes and various ethnicities are warranted.”



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