Medical marijuana helps 5-year-old Zander Welton's seizures from cortical dysplasia

11:11 AM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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Public opinion has shifted toward pragmatic acceptance of marijuana. (Photo: Ed Andrieski, AP)



Phoenix -- Medical marijuana is giving an Arizona mom hope when it comes to her 5-year-old son.

Zander Welton has a condition called cortical dysplasia. He communicates with squeals and grunts, and suffers from seizures.

At her wit's end, Zander's mother Jennifer is now turning to medical marijuana, in hopes of stopping the seizures and offering her child a chance at a normal life.

I don't want him stoned, I just want him better," Jennifer says. "If this finally works for Zander and I finally get to meet who he is, that would be amazing... because I don't know who he is; he's just a little boy that's trapped in this craziness." 

Zander has suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 9 months old. He's had two brain surgeries and a third for shock therapy.  

The Welton family is working with a Naturopathic Doctor and Zander will be medicated with Cannabidiol (CBD) oil drops. CBD is a compound in Cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel "stoned" and actually counters some of the effects of THC, according to

What is cortical dysplasia?

Cortical dysplasia refers to a congenital (present at birth) abnormality in the brain's development.  As the brain naturally develops in utero, neurons (which grow in the innermost part of the brain) spread or migrate outward to the cerebral cortex.  Should these neurons fail to spread out and position correctly, the signals will misfire - triggering a seizure.

Treatment for cortical dysplasia

Anticonvulsants will typically be the first line of treatment offered for cortical dysplasia. Should these fail to control the seizures, surgery may be a viable option.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

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