Dr. Adi Aran, Head of our Zussman Department of Pediatric Neurology, recently launched the first clinical trial in the world to test the benefits of medicinal marijuana for young people with autism. His research has been receiving a tremendous amount of attention across the globe, including this article in USA Today.
Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders, affecting 1 in 68 children in the U.S. Its debilitating symptoms include impaired communication and social skills, as well as compulsive and repetitive behaviors. If Dr. Aran’s results are positive, this treatment could provide relief for millions of children and for their parents.
Dr. Aran explains that nearly all of the participants in the study previously took antipsychotics and nearly half responded negatively. When research efforts in Israel showed that cannabis helped children with epilepsy by significantly reducing seizures and improving the behavior of those who have autism, Dr. Aran decided to launch a study focused on the benefits of medicinal marijuana for children and young adults with autism.
While Dr. Aran cautions against premature conclusions about the study, he said that many children in the study have shown significant improvements (Some stopped hurting themselves and throwing tantrums, some became more communicative…), Please read this article for more details.