More than 345,000 Texans with epilepsy don’t qualify for the state’s limited new medical marijuana program. Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 9:33 am CST More than 345,000 Texans with epilepsy don’t qualify for the state’s limited new medical marijuana program.
During the summer of 2016, Micah Jensen told his mother, Bonnie, he wanted to spend his birthday free of the severe migraines that had been plaguing him for months. Micah has autism and temporal lobe epilepsy, which causes recurrent, unprovoked seizures. But the migraines were new and getting worse. Just a week before he turned 11, his pain became unbearable. Micah woke up in the middle of the night screaming in agony. Bonnie rushed him to the ER. The doctor prescribed an antidepressant that was supposed to control migraines, but the pain didn’t go away.
“He was on the antidepressant for nine days,” Jensen said. “He was so spaced out, like a zombie. When I tried to call his name, he wouldn’t even look at me.”
A few weeks later, Jensen took Micah to a new neurologist, who determined that Micah’s frequent seizures were causing inflammation and swelling in his brain, triggering the migraines. His anticonvulsant, Lamictal, had stopped working, so the dose had to be increased. But the powerful drug comes with side effects, including weight gain and the triggering of autistic behaviors such as self-injury.
Jensen started reading news reports about children who successfully used cannabis to treat autism or epilepsy in Colorado.