Cannabidiol use in a pediatric patient with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy Case Report

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Mónica Ximena Pesántez Ríos
Ana María Pazmiño Miranda
María Gabriela Pesántez Ríos
Galo Pesántez Cuesta


Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASDs) are made up of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication associated with restrictive and stereotyped activities and interests. Conventional psychopharmacological medications are usually directed to the treatment of associated behaviors but do not treat the core deficits of ASD.

Clinical case: A 3-year-old boy was treated for delayed language acquisition and age-inappropriate behaviors compatible with manifestations of ASD. In addition, an electroencephalogram showed paroxysmal discharges coinciding with episodes of disconnection from the environment. The parents decided to use cannabidiol and to start a psychomotor, behavioral, and speech therapy intervention program.

Evolution: After one year of intervention and follow-up, there were significant advances in seizure control and improvement in empathic, adaptive, and relational skills. The child tolerates closed spaces better and follows orders and simple routines. The therapist indicates great progress, and the child has finished his first year of schooling with significant achievements. EEG study showed better conditions than previous results with better-structured baseline activity and decreased frontal epileptogenic activity.

Conclusion: This case report reinforces the idea that early therapeutic intervention and the use of cannabidiol as an add-on therapy may be able to aid in seizure control in epilepsy and decrease behavioral symptoms related to ASD. Further research is needed to elucidate the effectiveness of cannabidiol in ASD.


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How to Cite
Pesántez Ríos, M. X., Pazmiño Miranda, A. M., Pesántez Ríos, M. G., & Pesántez Cuesta, G. (2021). Cannabidiol use in a pediatric patient with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy: Case Report. Ecuadorian Journal of Pediatrics, 22(2), Article 10:1-8.
Clinical Case
Author Biographies

Mónica Ximena Pesántez Ríos, Servicio de Neuropediatría, Centro Nacional de Epilepsia-Quito.

Doctor of medicine (MD) from Universidad Central del Ecuador (2017)

Ana María Pazmiño Miranda, Pediatric Service, Apolo-Otavalo Medical Specialties Center

Medical from the Central University of Ecuador (2013), Specialist in Health Institution Administration from the University of the Americas (2016), Specialist in Pediatrics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (2020).

María Gabriela Pesántez Ríos, Neuropediatrics Service, National Epilepsy Center-Quito

Medical from the Central University of Ecuador (2013), Master's Degree in Neuroscience from the Autonomous University of Madrid (2015).

Galo Pesántez Cuesta, Neuropediatrics Service, National Epilepsy Center-Quito

Doctor in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Cuenca (2008), Specialist in Neurology from the Complutense University of Madrid (2012), Master's Degree in Pediatric Neurology from the University of Rome "La Vergata" (2012).

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