Marijuana is a leading treatment to help prevent epileptic seizures. In addition to research on the benefits of marijuana use, scientists are also studying how to predict when someone with epilepsy could have a seizure. According to reports, researchers won a contest for data scientists after studying brain activity to develop an algorithm that can predict seizures up to 82% of the time. The research astounded many in the medical research community, as researchers have previously struggled to develop and define an algorithm. Those involved in the research assert that it has significant clinical potential that could result in therapies and medicinal alternatives.
Epilepsy is a dangerous condition and can result in death. The condition has been compared to an “electrical storm” in the brain and affects the lives of nearly one percent of people in the world. The most common treatment for epilepsy is pharmaceutical treatments, but more people are turning to marijuana to prevent seizure activity. Pharmaceuticals can leave patients suffering with side effects and many patients have sought out other options, including implants that use electrical signals to prevent seizures. Having an algorithm to prevent seizures could make these implants more effective, working similarly to a heart defibrillator and sending electrical “messages” when necessary to prevent a seizure.
The competition was sponsored by the American Epilepsy Society’s annual meeting and involved the presentation of research from experts in neuroscience and other fields. The winners received $15,000 in the competition against hundreds of teams. Data was collected online from individuals who suffer from epilepsy in a kind of crowdsourcing endeavor where people and even animals who suffer from epilepsy submitted recordings of electrical activity. The competitors had access to hundreds of hours of recordings and were supposed to use the data to develop an algorithm.
The winning team included a mathematician, a software engineer, and medical researchers from the U.S. and Australia. According to the winners, the most challenging aspect of the competition was sifting through such a large amount of data to come up with useful patterns necessary to create the algorithm. At the end of the competition, the top performing teams were working on improving their algorithms daily. A second contest was sponsored to detect a seizure in progress and the winning algorithm was able to predict the seizures with 97% accuracy. Identifying such patterns and creating algorithms can help to prevent a seizure, but also help to prevent damage in the event that a seizure is taking place.
The attention paid to this algorithm mirrors the amount of energy being placed on the research relating medical marijuana treatment and epilepsy. For individuals who suffer from epileptic seizures, treatment is critical and can be life-saving. Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to protect the rights of medical marijuana card holders. We are abreast of local, state, and, federal laws and can help ensure dispensaries are in compliance, while also representing individuals who have been charged with a marijuana related crime.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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