Open-label use of Highly* purified CBD (Epidiolex®) in patients with CDKL5 deficiency disorder and Aicardi, Dup15q, and Doose syndromes.

“We studied our collective open-label, compassionate use experience in using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat epilepsy in patients with CDKL5 deficiency disorder and Aicardi, Doose, and Dup15q syndromes. This open-label drug trial provides class III evidence for the long-term safety and efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) administration in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE) associated with CDKL5 deficiency disorder and Aicardi, Dup15q, and Doose syndromes. Adjuvant therapy with CBD showed similar safety and efficacy for these four syndromes as reported in a diverse population of TRE etiologies.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30006259 https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(18)30191-4/fulltext

“Medical cannabis for epilepsy approved in FDA first”  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322283.php

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Long-term safety and treatment effects of cannabidiol in children and adults with treatment-resistant epilepsies: Expanded access program results.

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“Since 2014, cannabidiol (CBD) has been administered to patients with treatment-resistant epilepsies (TREs) in an ongoing expanded-access program (EAP). We report interim results on the safety and efficacy of CBD in EAP patients treated through December 2016.

METHODS:

Twenty-five US-based EAP sites enrolling patients with TRE taking stable doses of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) at baseline were included. During the 4-week baseline period, parents/caregivers kept diaries of all countable seizure types. Patients received oral CBD starting at 2-10 mg/kg/d, titrated to a maximum dose of 25-50 mg/kg/d. Patient visits were every 2-4 weeks through 16 weeks and every 2-12 weeks thereafter. Efficacy endpoints included the percentage change from baseline in median monthly convulsive and total seizure frequency, and percentage of patients with ≥50%, ≥75%, and 100% reductions in seizures vs baseline. Data were analyzed descriptively for the efficacy analysis set and using the last-observation-carried-forward method to account for missing data. Adverse events (AEs) were documented at each visit.

RESULTS:

Of 607 patients in the safety dataset, 146 (24%) withdrew; the most common reasons were lack of efficacy (89 [15%]) and AEs (32 [5%]). Mean age was 13 years (range, 0.4-62). Median number of concomitant AEDs was 3 (range, 0-10). Median CBD dose was 25 mg/kg/d; median treatment duration was 48 weeks. Add-on CBD reduced median monthly convulsive seizures by 51% and total seizures by 48% at 12 weeks; reductions were similar through 96 weeks. Proportion of patients with ≥50%, ≥75%, and 100% reductions in convulsive seizures were 52%, 31%, and 11%, respectively, at 12 weeks, with similar rates through 96 weeks. CBD was generally well tolerated; most common AEs were diarrhea (29%) and somnolence (22%).

SIGNIFICANCE:

Results from this ongoing EAP support previous observational and clinical trial data showing that add-on CBD may be an efficacious long-term treatment option for TRE.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29998598

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/epi.14477

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Composition and Use of Cannabis Extracts for Childhood Epilepsy in the Australian Community

Scientific Reports

“Recent surveys suggest that many parents are using illicit cannabis extracts in the hope of managing seizures in their children with epilepsy. In the current Australian study we conducted semi-structured interviews with families of children with diverse forms of epilepsy to explore their attitudes towards and experiences with using cannabis extracts.

Contrary to family’s expectations, most samples contained low concentrations of cannabidiol, while Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was present in nearly every sample. These findings highlight profound variation in the illicit cannabis extracts being currently used in Australia and warrant further investigations into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids in epilepsy.

The phenomenon is not without supporting scientific evidence. Many preclinical studies have identified potent anticonvulsant effects of various cannabinoids in animal models of epilepsy, and a mechanistic understanding of such effects is emerging.

A considerable proportion of families reported cannabis extracts being “effective” in reducing their child’s seizure burden and improving their overall condition, with one family reporting seizure-freedom in their child for at least 12 months. Over half of the cannabis extracts were associated with families reducing or ceasing their use of the child’s conventional antiepileptic drugs.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28127-0

“Cannabis chemical THC could be missing ‘piece to the puzzle’ in treating kids with epilepsy” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-05/epilepsy-treatment-cannabis-chemical-thc/9944878

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The protocol for the Cannabidiol in children with refractory epileptic encephalopathy (CARE-E) study: a phase 1 dosage escalation study.

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“Initial studies suggest pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce the frequency of convulsive seizures and lead to improvements in quality of life in children affected by epileptic encephalopathies.

With limited access to pharmaceutical CBD, Cannabis extracts in oil are becoming increasingly available.

The primary aims of the study presented in this protocol are (i) To determine whether CBD enriched Cannabis extract is safe and well-tolerated for pediatric patients with refractory epilepsy, (ii) To monitor the effects of CBD-enriched Cannabis extract on the frequency and duration of seizure types and on quality of life.

DISCUSSION:

This paper describes the study design of a phase 1 trial of CBD-enriched Cannabis herbal extract in children with treatment-resistant epileptic encephalopathy. This study will provide the first high quality analysis of safety of CBD-enriched Cannabis herbal extract in pediatric patients in relation to dosage and pharmacokinetics of the active cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29981580

“Children with epileptic encephalopathies resistant to standard therapy are at considerable risk for long-term neurocognitive impairment and poor quality of life. CBD-enriched Cannabis based therapies have been shown in several studies to provide a reduction in seizure frequencies and improvements in sleep patterns, mood, and alertness.”  https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12887-018-1191-y

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Structure-Activity Relationship of Cannabis Derived Compounds for the Treatment of Neuronal Activity-Related Diseases.

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“Cannabis sativa active compounds are extensively studied for their therapeutic effects, beyond the well-known psychotropic activity. C. Sativa is used to treat different medical indications, such as multiple sclerosis, spasticity, epilepsy, ulcerative colitis and pain. Simultaneously, basic research is discovering new constituents of cannabis-derived compounds and their receptors capable of neuroprotection and neuronal activity modulation. The function of the various phytochemicals in different therapeutic processes is not fully understood, but their significant role is starting to emerge and be appreciated. In this review, we will consider the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of cannabinoid compounds able to bind to cannabinoid receptors and act as therapeutic agents in neuronal diseases, e.g., Parkinson’s disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29941830

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/23/7/1526

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The adult motor phenotype of Dravet syndrome is associated with mutation of the STXBP1 gene and responds well to cannabidiol treatment.

Seizure - European Journal of Epilepsy Home

“Dravet syndrome is a terrible disease generally caused by mutations of the SCN1A gene. Recently others genes such as STXBP1 have been involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. The STXBP1 mutation in patients with Dravet Syndrome may additionally causes several parkinsonian features usually attributed to carriers of the SCN1A mutation. Management continues to be difficult that is why Cannabidiol emerged as valid option for treatment of this condition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29929108

https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/S1059-1311(17)30500-9/fulltext

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Investigational cannabinoids in seizure disorders, what have we learned thus far?

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“The anticonvulsant activity of cannabinoids attracted much attention in the last decade. Cannabinoids that are currently investigated with the intention of making them drugs for the treatment of epilepsy are cannabidiol, cannabidivarin, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.

Areas covered. In this review, the authors look at the results of pre-clinical and clinical studies with investigational cannabinoids. Relevant literature was searched for in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, EBSCO, GOOGLE SCHOLAR and SCINDEX databases.

Expert opinion. Pre-clinical studies confirmed anticonvulsant activity of cannabidiol and cannabidivarin in a variety of epilepsy models. While the results of clinical trials with cannabidivarin are still awaited, cannabidiol showed clear therapeutic benefit and good safety in patients with therapy resistant seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome who have drop seizures. However, the full therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy needs to be investigated in the near future.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29842819

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13543784.2018.1482275

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Endocannabinoid CB1 receptors are involved in antiepileptogenic effect of low frequency electrical stimulation during perforant path kindling in rats.

Epilepsy Research

“Administration of low-frequency electrical stimulation (LFS) at the kindling site has an antiepileptogenic effect. In the present study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) in mediating the inhibitory effects of LFS on the development of perforant path kindled seizures.

RESULTS:

Application of LFS had inhibitory effect on development of kindled seizures (kindling rate). Microinjection of AM281 (0.5 μg/μl) immediately after the last kindling stimulation (before LFS application) reduced the inhibitory effect of LFS on the kindling rate and suppressed the effects of LFS on potentiation (increasing the magnitude) of both population spike amplitude and population excitatory postsynaptic potential slope during kindling acquisition. AM281 pretreatment also prevented the effects of LFS on kindling-induced increase in early and late paired pulse depression. The higher dose of AM281 (2 μg/μl) failed to exert the effects observed with its lower dose (0.5 μg/μl). In addition, there was a decreased CB1 receptors immunostaining in kindled animals compared to control. However, application of LFS following kindling stimulations led to overexpression of CB1 receptors in the dentate gyrus.

CONCLUSION:

Obtained results showed that activation of overexpressed cannabinoid CB1 receptors by endogenous cannabinoids may have a role in mediating the inhibitory effect of LFS on perforant path kindled seizures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29800824

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920121117304291?via%3Dihub

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Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids.

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“Numerous physical, psychological, and emotional benefits have been attributed to marijuana since its first reported use in 2,600 BC in a Chinese pharmacopoeia. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are the most studied extracts from cannabis sativa subspecies hemp and marijuana. CBD and Δ9-THC interact uniquely with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through direct and indirect actions, intrinsic endocannabinoids and plant-based phytocannabinoids modulate and influence a variety of physiological systems influenced by the ECS.

METHODS:

In 1980, Cunha et al. reported anticonvulsant benefits in 7/8 subjects with medically uncontrolled epilepsy using marijuana extracts in a phase I clinical trial. Since then neurological applications have been the major focus of renewed research using medical marijuana and phytocannabinoid extracts.

RESULTS:

Recent neurological uses include adjunctive treatment for malignant brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and the childhood seizure disorders Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. In addition, psychiatric and mood disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction, postconcussion syndrome, and posttraumatic stress disorders are being studied using phytocannabinoids.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this review we will provide animal and human research data on the current clinical neurological uses for CBD individually and in combination with Δ9-THC. We will emphasize the neuroprotective, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits of phytocannabinoids and their applications in various clinical syndromes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770251

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/

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Effect of Cannabidiol on Drop Seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

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“Cannabidiol has been used for treatment-resistant seizures in patients with severe early-onset epilepsy.

We investigated the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol added to a regimen of conventional antiepileptic medication to treat drop seizures in patients with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe developmental epileptic encephalopathy.

Among children and adults with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, the addition of cannabidiol at a dose of 10 mg or 20 mg per kilogram per day to a conventional antiepileptic regimen resulted in greater reductions in the frequency of drop seizures than placebo.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29768152

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1714631

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