Cannabis for pediatric epilepsy: protocol for a living systematic review.

Cannabis for pediatric epilepsy: protocol for a living systematic review.

Category : Epilepsia

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Cannabis for pediatric epilepsy: protocol for a living systematic review.

Syst Rev. 2018 Jul 18;7(1):95

Authors: Elliott J, DeJean D, Clifford T, Coyle D, Potter B, Skidmore B, Alexander C, Repetski AE, McCoy B, Wells GA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Pediatric epilepsy, including treatment-resistant forms, has a major effect on the quality of life, morbidity, and mortality of affected children. Interest has been growing in the use of medical cannabis as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy, yet there has been no comprehensive review of the benefits and harms of cannabis use in this population. In this systematic review, we will search for, synthesize, and assess the published and gray literature in order to provide usable and relevant information to parents, clinicians, and policy makers.
METHODS: We will perform a living systematic review of studies involving the use of cannabis to treat pediatric epilepsy. We will search the published and gray literature for studies involving children with any type of epilepsy taking any form of cannabis. Studies will be selected for inclusion by two independent reviewers. The primary outcome is seizure freedom. Secondary outcomes are seizure frequency, quality of life (child, caregiver), quality and quantity of sleep, status epilepticus, tonic-clonic seizures, death (all-cause, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy), gastrointestinal adverse events (diarrhea, vomiting), and visits to the emergency room. The quality of each included study will be assessed. If data are sufficient in quantity and sufficiently similar, we will conduct pairwise random-effects meta-analysis. We will repeat the literature search every 6 months to identify studies published after the previous search date. Sequential meta-analysis will be performed as necessary to update the review findings.
DISCUSSION: Our review aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date summary of the available evidence to inform decisions about the use of cannabis in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The results of this review will be of use to parents, clinicians, and policy makers as they navigate this rapidly evolving area.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42018084755.

PMID: 30021618 [PubMed – in process]

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