Nathaniel Leahy: ‘Epidiolex has helped but he needs full extract cannabis oil’

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The mother of 10-month-old Nathaniel Leahy has said that Epidiolex has had “some positive effects” on epilepsy but that full extract cannabis oil – which he is being denied – “could be the lifeline we need”.

Whereas Epidiolex is CBD-based, full extract includes highly concentrated THC. As we reported recently, scientists in the US have found that THC is more therapeutic than CBD. But the stigma attached to the latter is still much greater than the former because it is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Nathaniel had his first seizure at 14 weeks of age and has since been diagnosed with a the genetic disorder mitochondrial which has been causing up to 100 seizures a day. Anti-epileptic pharmaceuticals did not help.

Lauren Abernethy says Epidiolex enabled Nathaniel to leave intensive care and go home but that he is still having seizures.

Shetold the Liverpool Echo: “We have been denied the medication even though Nathaniel has shown some positive effects to the Epidiolex therefore the full extract could be the lifeline we need. The future prognosis for Nathaniel is not good and he currently has a short life expectancy.

“Because of his condition being genetic, he is likely to be the only child I have. We believe that this oil could give us longer with him, whilst giving him and us a better quality of life.

“I am not naive, I know it is not a cure but I don’t like the fact that I am being denied the chance to try it. There are children out there that have been given this and they are thriving.”

Lauren and her partner James joined End Our Pain and 15 other families in a meeting with MPs at Westminster today. We will report on how the meeting went tomorrow.

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