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Parents use marijuana as treatment for autistic son

oregon tuberous sclerosis medical marijuana act

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#1 Hum

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 17:18

An Oregon family has turned to medical marijuana to manage their son's severe autistic rage, KPTV reported.

Alex Echols, 11, is severely autistic, and his doctor said Alex's self-destructive behavior is brought on by tuberous sclerosis, a rare, genetic disorder that affects about 50,000 people in the U.S.

The disorder causes unregulated growth of non-malignant tissue in organs. In Alex's case, his neurologist said growths in Alex's brain have led to seizures and autism.

Echols said by the time Alex was 5, he exhibited intense, self-directed rage. Echols showed us home videos of the rage. He said they videotaped the episodes to show doctors the injuries were self-inflicted.

His parents got him a helmet to protect his head, swaddled him like a newborn and tried mood-altering drugs to control the behavior, with little success. When he was eight years old, the Echols made the heartbreaking decision to move Alex into a state-funded group home.

But was there a way to help him? In late 2009, the Echols said they saw a television news story about a California woman who was using medical marijuana to treat her autistic son. The Echols researched Oregon's medical marijuana program, and in 2010, a doctor approved Alex for medical marijuana use.

Alex is now one of 58 minors currently protected under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. While autism is not a qualifying medical condition like cancer or severe pain, in Alex's case, his seizures were.

And after a few months of treatment, the Echols said they saw a dramatic improvement.

Echols said Alex's group home will not administer the marijuana, so, about three times a week off-site, his parents give Alex a liquid form of the drug by mouth.

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#2 DocM

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 18:53

In his situation, whatever works.

#3 Nothing Here

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 18:58

It's the only thing that works for me. The Docs have tried me on every pain med out there and either I'm allergic to it or it just plain does not work.

#4 Mando

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 19:01

the liquid form does not contain the chemicals that create the euphoric high, but its other qualities will hopefully make his condition easier to tolerate for him, quality of life is very important.

Ive witnessed friends and family members turn to mary j when enduring chemo or radiotherapy, its the only thing that seems to work against nausea in their cases, weird as hell sitting sharing a water bong with your uncle though :p just as well im open and honest about it to family.