Cannabinoid-hypocretin cross-talk in the central nervous system: what we know so far

“Emerging findings suggest the existence of a cross-talk between hypocretinergic and endocannabinoid systems…

The present review attempts to piece together what is known about this interesting interaction and describes its potential therapeutic implications.”

http://www.frontiersin.org/Neuropharmacology/10.3389/fnins.2013.00256/abstract

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Clinical experience with THC:CBD oromucosal spray in patients with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity.

“This detailed medical charts’ data collection study conducted at an MS clinic in Germany evaluated the effectiveness of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) / cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray in patients with resistant multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity…

In this routine clinical practice setting at an MS clinic in Germany, THC:CBD spray was effective and well tolerated as add-on therapy or as monotherapy in a relevant proportion of patients with resistant MS spasticity.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24392812

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Association between a Genetic Variant of Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptor and Inflammatory Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis

“Genetic ablation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) exacerbates the neurodegenerative damage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the rodent model of multiple sclerosis (MS)…

Our results demonstrate the biological relevance of the (AAT)n CNR1 repeats in the inflammatory neurodegenerative damage of MS…

In conclusion, our study points to CB1R as an interesting molecular target for preventing neuronal loss and cognitive impairment in MS as well as in other CNS disorders in which inflammation-driven neurodegeneration process play a role.”

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0082848

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Endocannabinoid and Cannabinoid-Like Fatty Acid Amide Levels Correlate with Pain-Related Symptoms in Patients with IBS-D and IBS-C: A Pilot Study.

“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, associated with alterations of bowel function, abdominal pain and other symptoms related to the GI tract. Recently the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) was shown to be involved in the physiological and pathophysiological control of the GI function. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether IBS defining symptoms correlate with changes in endocannabinoids or cannabinoid like fatty acid levels in IBS patients.

CONCLUSION:

IBS subtypes and their symptoms show distinct alterations of endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like fatty acid levels. These changes may partially result from reduced FAAH expression. The here reported changes support the notion that the ECS is involved in the pathophysiology of IBS and the development of IBS symptoms.”

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Sativex(®) (tetrahydrocannabinol + cannabidiol), an endocannabinoid system modulator: basic features and main clinical data.

“Sativex(®) (nabiximols, USAN name) oromucosal spray contains the two main active constituents of Cannabis sativa, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in a 1:1 molecular ratio, and acts as an endocannabinoid system modulator. Randomized, controlled clinical trials of Sativex as add-on therapy provide conclusive evidence of its efficacy in the treatment of more than 1500 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related resistant spasticity…

Sativex oromucosal spray appears to be a useful and welcomed option for the management of resistant spasticity in MS patients. Although the management of MS has been improved by the availability of disease-modifying agents that target the underlying pathophysiological processes of the disease, a clear need remains for more effective symptomatic treatments, especially as regards MS-related spasticity and pain.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21449855

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Endocannabinoid pathways and their role in multiple sclerosis-related muscular dysfunction.

“Modulation of the endocannabinoid system has been shown to have therapeutic potential in a number of disease states.

Sativex(®) (nabiximols, USAN name) contains the two main phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in a 1:1 ratio, and it acts as an endocannabinoid system modulator.

In an experimental mouse model of MS-related spasticity, Sativex dose-dependently improved hind limb flexion/stiffness and a dosage of 10 mg/kg was shown to be as effective as the most widely established anti-spasticity treatment baclofen (5 mg/kg).

These findings with Sativex are very promising and offer encouragement for MS patients, the majority of whom will develop spasticity-related disabling and recalcitrant symptoms. Furthermore, research into the endocannabinoid system may offer potential in other neurodegenerative, inflammatory and pain disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21449854

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The endocannabinoid system: an emotional buffer in the modulation of memory function.

“Extensive evidence indicates that endocannabinoids modulate cognitive processes in animal models and human subjects. However, the results of endocannabinoid system manipulations on cognition have been contradictory. As for anxiety behavior, a duality has indeed emerged with regard to cannabinoid effects on memory for emotional experiences. Here we summarize findings describing cannabinoid effects on memory acquisition, consolidation, retrieval and extinction. Additionally, we review findings showing how the endocannabinoid system modulates memory function differentially, depending on the level of stress and arousal associated with the experimental context. Based on the evidence reviewed here, we propose that the endocannabinoid system is an emotional buffer that moderates the effects of environmental context and stress on cognitive processes.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24382324

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Role of the endocannabinoid system in brain functions relevant for schizophrenia: An overview of human challenge studies with cannabis or ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“Accumulating evidence suggests involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, which signifies a potential application for this system in the treatment of this disorder.

…similarities in brain function between intoxicated healthy volunteers and schizophrenia patients provide an argument for a role of the endocannabinoid system in symptoms of schizophrenia, and further emphasise this system as a potential novel target for treatment of these symptoms.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24380726

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IBD: Patients with IBD find symptom relief in the Cannabis field

“Cannabis (or marijuana) has been used in traditional medicine to treat intestinal inflammation. A survey by Ravikoff Allegretti et al. at a specialized IBD clinic shows that, in the USA, marijuana is used by a substantial number of patients with IBD to alleviate their symptoms.”

http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nrgastro.2013.245.html

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Cannabinoid agonists showing BuChE inhibition as potential therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Designing drugs with a specific multi-target profile is a promising approach against multifactorial illnesses as Alzheimer’s disease. In this work, new indazole ethers that possess dual activity as both cannabinoid agonists CB2 and inhibitors of BuChE have been designed by computational methods…

The results of pharmacological tests have revealed that three of these derivatives behave as CB2 cannabinoid agonists and simultaneously show BuChE inhibition. In particular, compounds 3 and 24 have emerged as promising candidates as novel cannabinoids that inhibit BuChE by a non-competitive or mixed mechanism, respectively. On the other hand, both molecules show antioxidant properties.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24378710

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