Virtual Conference
Neuroscience conference 2022

Aviad Schnapp

Hadassah Medical Center, Israel

Title: A placebo-controlled trial of cannabinoid treatment for disruptive behavior in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Effects on sleep parameters as measured by the CSHQ

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often associated with debilitating sleep disturbances. While anecdotal evidence suggests positive effects of cannabinoids, randomized studies are lacking. We report the effects of cannabinoid treatment on the sleep of 150 children and adolescents with ASD, as part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that assessed the impact of cannabinoid treatment on behavior (NCT02956226). 
Participants were randomly assigned to one of the following three treatments: (1) whole-plant cannabis extract, containing cannabidiol (CBD) and D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a 20:1 ratio, (2) purified CBD and THC extract in the same ratio, and (3) an oral placebo. 
After 12 weeks of treatment (Period 1) and a 4-week washout period, participants crossed over to a predetermined, second 12-week treatment (Period 2).
Sleep disturbances were assessed using the Children’s Sleep-Habit Questionnaire (CSHQ). 
We found that the CBD-rich cannabinoid treatment was not superior to the placebo treatment in all aspects of sleep measured by the CSHQ, including bedtime resistance, sleep-onset delay, and sleep duration. 
Notably, regardless of the treatment (cannabinoids or placebo), improvements in the CSHQ total score were associated with improvements in the autistic core symptoms, as indicated by the Social Responsiveness Scale total scores (Period 1: r = 0.266, p = 0.008; Period 2: r = 0.309, p = 0.004). 
While our study failed to demonstrate that sleep improvements were higher with cannabinoids than they were with the placebo treatment, further studies are required

Biography

Education:
2015-2018 - M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah.
Final MD thesis: Impact of Cannabinoid Treatment on Sleep in Children with Autism Spectrum
Disorder (ASD) - A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Guided By Dr. Adi Aran, SZMC.
Publications 1, 2 and 5 are products of MD thesis.
2012-2015 - B.Sc in Biomedical Studies (Pre-med), Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem with distinction.

Employment:
2020-presentPediatrics Resident, Ein-Karem Pediatrics department, Hadassah Medical Center
First certifying exam (“Shlav Alef”) with distinction.
Thesis: Assessment of Physicians Treating Pediatric cases’ Ability to Correctly Evaluate Glomerular
Filtration Rate (GFR).
2019 Medical Intern, Hadassah Medical Center