Cannabidiol attenuates seizures and social deficits in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.

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“Worldwide medicinal use of cannabis is rapidly escalating, despite limited evidence of its efficacy from preclinical and clinical studies. Here we show that cannabidiol (CBD) effectively reduced seizures and autistic-like social deficits in a well-validated mouse genetic model of Dravet syndrome (DS), a severe childhood epilepsy disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the brain voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.1.

The duration and severity of thermally induced seizures and the frequency of spontaneous seizures were substantially decreased. Treatment with lower doses of CBD also improved autistic-like social interaction deficits in DS mice.

Phenotypic rescue was associated with restoration of the excitability of inhibitory interneurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, an important area for seizure propagation. Reduced excitability of dentate granule neurons in response to strong depolarizing stimuli was also observed.

The beneficial effects of CBD on inhibitory neurotransmission were mimicked and occluded by an antagonist of GPR55, suggesting that therapeutic effects of CBD are mediated through this lipid-activated G protein-coupled receptor.

Our results provide critical preclinical evidence supporting treatment of epilepsy and autistic-like behaviors linked to DS with CBD. We also introduce antagonism of GPR55 as a potential therapeutic approach by illustrating its beneficial effects in DS mice.

Our study provides essential preclinical evidence needed to build a sound scientific basis for increased medicinal use of CBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28973916

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/09/26/1711351114

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Cannabidiol reduced frequency of convulsive seizures in drug resistant Dravet syndrome.

BMJ Journals

“Study design

Design: Multinational double-blinded placebo-controlled trial. Patients randomised in 1:1 ratio to receive cannabidiol or placebo, in addition to stable antiepileptic treatment regime.

Study question

Setting: Twenty-three centres in Europe and USA.

 Patients: Patients aged 2 years to 18 years with established diagnosis of Dravet syndrome having at least four convulsive seizures during the 28-day baseline period despite regular antiepileptic medication.

Intervention: Adjunctive cannabidiol or placebo oral solution at 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day.

Primary outcome: Percentage change in median frequency of convulsive seizures per month.

Follow-up period: Outcome measured over a 14-week treatment period in comparison to a 4-week baseline period.

Patient follow-up: One hundred and eight (90%) completed the trial: 85% (52/61) in the cannabidiol group and …”

http://ep.bmj.com/content/early/2017/09/22/archdischild-2017-313700

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The FAAH inhibitor URB597 suppresses hippocampal maximal dentate afterdischarges and restores seizure-induced impairment of short and long-term synaptic plasticity.

“Synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids have been shown to suppress seizures both in humans and experimental models of epilepsy.

However, they generally have a detrimental effect on memory and memory-related processes. Here we compared the effect of the inhibition of the endocannabinoid (eCB) degradation versus synthetic CB agonist on limbic seizures induced by maximal dentate activation (MDA) acute kindling. Moreover, we investigated the dentate gyrus (DG) granule cell reactivity and synaptic plasticity in naïve and in MDA-kindled anaesthetised rats.

We found that both the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 and the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 displayed AM251-sensitive anti-seizure effects. WIN55,212-2, dose-dependently (0.5-2 mg/kg, i.p.) impaired short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant path-DG synapses in naïve rats. Strikingly, URB597 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) was devoid of any deleterious effects in normal conditions, while it prevented seizure-induced alterations of both STP and LTP.

Our evidence indicates that boosting the eCB tone rather than general CB1 activation might represent a potential strategy for the development of a new class of drugs for treatment of both seizures and comorbid memory impairments associated with epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28894217

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11606-1

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The potential role of cannabinoids in epilepsy treatment.

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“Epilepsy is one of the world’s oldest recognized and prevalent neurological diseases. It has a great negative impact on patients’ quality of life (QOL) as a consequence of treatment resistant seizures in about 30% of patients together with drugs’ side effects and comorbidities. Therefore, new drugs are needed and cannabinoids, above all cannabidiol, have recently gathered attention.

This review summarizes the scientific data from human and animal studies on the major cannabinoids which have been of interest in the treatment of epilepsy, including drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system.

Despite the fact that cannabis has been used for many purposes over 4 millennia, the development of drugs based on cannabinoids has been very slow. Only recently, research has focused on their potential effects and CBD is the first treatment of this group with clinical evidence of efficacy in children with Dravet syndrome; moreover, other studies are currently ongoing to confirm its effectiveness in patients with epilepsy.

On the other hand, it will be of interest to understand whether drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system will be able to reach the market and prove their known preclinical efficacy also in patients with epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28845714   http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14737175.2017.1373019

 

“The role of cannabinoids and endocannabinoid system in the treatment of epilepsy. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of various diseases. Cannabinoids have been shown in preliminary animal model studies and in studies of patients with epilepsy to have antiepileptic activity. ” https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/joepi.ahead-of-print/joepi-2015-0034/joepi-2015-0034.xml
“Phytocannabinoids produce anticonvulsant effects through the endocannabinoid system, with few adverse effects.”
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Cannabidiol reduces seizure frequency in Dravet syndrome

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“Cannabidiol is effective in treating drug-resistant seizures in Dravet syndrome, according to a new clinical trial. For the first time, a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has confirmed controversial anecdotal evidence supporting the efficacy of cannabinoids in epilepsy.” https://www.nature.com/nrneurol/journal/v13/n7/full/nrneurol.2017.86.html

“Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome”  http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618

“Cannabinoids for Epilepsy — Real Data, at Last”  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1702205

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Fewer Seizures With Cannabidiol in Catastrophic Epilepsy

Cannabidiol reduces frequency of seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome.

“Cannabidiol reduced the frequency of convulsive seizures compared with placebo in Dravet syndrome, a childhood epilepsy disorder with a high mortality rate and no approved treatment in the United States, reported a clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.” http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2645099

“Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome”  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618#t=abstract

“EPILEPSY AND MARIJUANA: CANNABIS DRUG REDUCES DRAVET SYNDROME SEIZURES IN LARGE-SCALE CLINICAL TRIAL” http://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-marijuana-dravet-syndrome-epilepsy-clinical-trial-614982

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[Cannabidiol: its use in refractory epilepsies].

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“Some epileptic syndromes are characterised by seizures that are difficult to control and are associated to delayed neuropsychomotor development, which results in a deterioration in the patient’s quality of life as well as in that of his or her family.

AIM:

To evaluate the use of cannabidiol as adjuvant therapy in patients with refractory epilepsies.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

An observational study was conducted by means of a survey addressed to the patient’s caregiver. Data collected included information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol.

RESULTS:

The evaluation examined 15 patients with refractory epilepsies, who received cannabidiol over a period ranging from one month to one year. The frequency of seizures decreased in 40% of the patients, 60% of the patients were seen to have control over 50% of their seizures and in 27% of them the seizures disappeared completely. Neurocognitive changes were also reported: behaviour improved in 73%; 60% reported an improvement in language; in 50% sleep improved; 43% reported improvements in eating habits; and 100% said their mood had improved. The overall perception of the illness was that there had been improvements in 73% of respondents. The most common side effects were drowsiness and fatigue.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest a possible beneficial effect of cannabidiol on the control of seizures and on the improvement of certain neurocognitive aspects in patients with refractory epilepsies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28726233

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Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy in pediatric patients enrolled in a prospective, open-label clinical study with cannabidiol.

Epilepsia

“Recent clinical trials indicate that cannabidiol (CBD) may reduce seizure frequency in pediatric patients with certain forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy. Many of these patients experience significant impairments in quality of life (QOL) in physical, mental, and social dimensions of health. In this study, we measured the caregiver-reported Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) in a subset of patients enrolled in a prospective, open-label clinical study of CBD. Results from caregivers of 48 patients indicated an 8.2 ± 9.9-point improvement in overall patient QOLCE (p < 0.001) following 12 weeks of CBD. Subscores with improvement included energy/fatigue, memory, control/helplessness, other cognitive functions, social interactions, behavior, and global QOL. These differences were not correlated to changes in seizure frequency or adverse events. The results suggest that CBD may have beneficial effects on patient QOL, distinct from its seizure-reducing effects; however, further studies in placebo-controlled, double-blind trials are necessary to confirm this finding.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28617940

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/epi.13815/abstract

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Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome

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“BACKGROUND

The Dravet syndrome is a complex childhood epilepsy disorder that is associated with drug-resistant seizures and a high mortality rate. We studied cannabidiol for the treatment of drug-resistant seizures in the Dravet syndrome.

METHODS

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 120 children and young adults with the Dravet syndrome and drug-resistant seizures to receive either cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day or placebo, in addition to standard antiepileptic treatment. The primary end point was the change in convulsive-seizure frequency over a 14-week treatment period, as compared with a 4-week baseline period.

RESULTS

The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo (adjusted median difference between the cannabidiol group and the placebo group in change in seizure frequency, −22.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −41.1 to −5.4; P=0.01). The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43% with cannabidiol and 27% with placebo (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% CI, 0.93 to 4.30; P=0.08). The patient’s overall condition improved by at least one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol group as compared with 34% of the placebo group (P=0.02). The frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03), but there was no significant reduction in nonconvulsive seizures. The percentage of patients who became seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0% with placebo (P=0.08). Adverse events that occurred more frequently in the cannabidiol group than in the placebo group included diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, pyrexia, somnolence, and abnormal results on liver-function tests. There were more withdrawals from the trial in the cannabidiol group.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients with the Dravet syndrome, cannabidiol resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency than placebo and was associated with higher rates of adverse events. (Funded by GW Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02091375.)”

http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618

“Cannabinoids for Epilepsy — Real Data, at Last”  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1702205

“Cannabidiol (CBD) Significantly Reduces Convulsive Seizure Frequency in Dravet Syndrome (DS): Results of a Multi-center, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial (GWPCARE1)” http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMDA-1TW341/201889199x0x919787/73B57FA6-CD45-4ABB-8C89-87EFEA36B4ED/1332B_AES_Poster_Dravet_Part_B_.pdf

“EPILEPSY AND MARIJUANA: CANNABIS DRUG REDUCES DRAVET SYNDROME SEIZURES IN LARGE-SCALE CLINICAL TRIAL” http://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-marijuana-dravet-syndrome-epilepsy-clinical-trial-614982

“Study proves medicinal cannabis can help children with severe epilepsy, researchers say” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-25/scientific-study-medicinal-cannabis-helps-children-with-epilepsy/8556180
 
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Efficacy of Medical Cannabis for Treatment of Refractory Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents with Emphasis on the Israeli Experience.

“The effectiveness of marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy was originally reported as early as 1800 BC.

There is now concrete evidence to suggest the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy, particularly in the refractory group.

To summarize, in view of the good outcome in a significant number of patients, which is not significantly worse than other accepted options for patients with refractory epilepsy, it seems that medical cannabis should be considered a viable treatment option.”

https://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/228/114213.pdf

https://www.ima.org.il/imaj/ViewArticle.aspx?aId=4041

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28457054

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