Cannabidiol Efficacy Independent of Clobazam: Meta-Analysis of Four Randomized-Controlled Trials

 Acta Neurologica ScandinavicaThe efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) with and without concomitant clobazam (CLB) was evaluated in stratified analyses of four large randomized controlled trials, two in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and two in Dravet syndrome.

Results: The meta-analysis favored CBD vs. placebo regardless of CLB use. The treatment ratio (95% CI) of CBD over placebo for the average reduction in seizure frequency was 0.59 (0.52, 0.68; p<0.0001) with CLB and 0.85 (0.73, 0.98; p=0.0226) without CLB, and the 50% responder rate odds ratio (95% CI) was 2.51 (1.69, 3.71; p<0.0001) with CLB and 2.40 (1.38, 4.16; p=0.0020) without CLB. Adverse events (AEs) related to somnolence, rash, pneumonia, or aggression were more common in patients with concomitant CLB. There was a significant exposure/response relationship for CBD and its active metabolite.

Conclusions: These results indicate CBD is efficacious with and without CLB, but do not exclude the possibility of a synergistic effect associated with the combination of agents. The safety and tolerability profile of CBD without CLB shows a lower rate of certain AEs than with CLB.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32592183/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ane.13305

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Cannabidiol Anticonvulsant Effect Is Mediated by the PI3Kγ Pathway

Neuropharmacology“The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/Akt)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been associated with several pathologies in the central nervous system (CNS), including epilepsy. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that the PI3Kγ signaling pathway may mediate the powerful anticonvulsant properties associated with the cannabinoidergic system.

This work aims to investigate if the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are mediated by PI3Kγ.

CDB increased latency and reduced the severity of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures, as well as prevented postictal changes, such as neurodegeneration, microgliosis and astrocytosis, in WT animals, but not in PI3Kγ-/-. CBD in vivo effects were abolished by pharmacological inhibition of cannabinoid receptor or mTOR. In vitro, PI3Kγ inhibition or deficiency also changed CBD protection observed in glutamate-induced cell death assay. Thus, we suggest that the modulation of PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway is involved in the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of CBD.

These findings are important not only for the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of CBD, which are currently poorly understood, but also to allow the prediction of therapeutic and side effects, ensuring efficacy and safety in the treatment of patients with epilepsy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32574650/

“CBD is anticonvulsant in a model of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures. CB1 receptor mediates the effects of CBD. PI3Kγ pathway mediates the anticonvulsant neuroprotective effects of CBD.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390820302240?via%3Dihub

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Current Application of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the Management and Treatment of Neurological Disorders

SpringerLink“Cannabidiol (CBD), which is nonintoxicating pharmacologically relevant constituents of Cannabis, demonstrates several beneficial effects. It has been found to have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. As the medicinal use of CBD is gaining popularity for treatment of various disorders, the recent flare-up of largely unproven and unregulated cannabis-based preparations on medical therapeutics may have its greatest impact in the field of neurology. Currently, as lot of clinical trials are underway, CBD demonstrates remarkable potential to become a supplemental therapy in various neurological conditions. It has shown promise in the treatment of neurological disorders such as anxiety, chronic pain, trigeminal neuralgia, epilepsy, and essential tremors as well as psychiatric disorders. While recent FDA-approved prescription drugs have demonstrated safety, efficacy, and consistency enough for regulatory approval in spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) and in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes (LGS), many therapeutic challenges still remain. In the current review, the authors have shed light on the application of CBD in the management and treatment of various neurological disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32556748/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10072-020-04514-2

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Plant Derived Versus Synthetic Cannabidiol: Wishes and Commitment of Epilepsy Patients

 cannabidiol | www.thctotalhealthcare.com“A special component of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), is currently in the focus of epilepsy treatment and research. In this context, we investigated patients’ expectations and preferences pertaining to plant-derived versus synthetic formulation of cannabidiol, as well as their willingness to get this treatment.

Methods: One hundred and four of 153 patients with different forms of epilepsy (54 % female, mean age 40 ± 16 yrs.) responded to the survey. The survey consisted of 8 questions addressing expectations of and concerns towards CBD treatment, preferences of plant-derived versus synthetic CBD, estimated monthly costs, and willingness to buy CBD at one’s own expense.

Results: The majority (73 %) of the responding epilepsy patients wished to receive plant-derived CBD; 5 % preferred synthetic CBD. Reasons for this choice were botanic origin, lack of chemistry, and the assumption of fewer and less dangerous side effects. Eighty-two percent of the patients estimated the monthly costs of CBD treatment to be below €500. Using the willingness-to-pay approach to assess the commitment of patients, 68 % could imagine buying the drug themselves. Fifty-three percent of these would be willing to pay up to €100, 40 % €100 to €200, and another 7 % €200 to €500 per month.

Conclusion: There is an overwhelming preference towards plant-derived cannabidiol in epilepsy patients, driven by the idea of organic substances being safer and better tolerated than synthetic. The willingness-to-pay approach reflects the high burden and pressure of uncontrolled epilepsy and the expectation of relief. Non-realistic ideas of pricing as well as what patients would be willing and able to pay confirm this perception.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32554292/

“Epilepsy patients preferred plant-derived cannabidiol to synthetic cannabidiol.”

https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/S1059-1311(20)30175-8/pdf

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Effectiveness of Cannabidiol in a Prospective Cohort of Children With Drug-Resistant Epileptic Encephalopathy in Argentina

“We report our preliminary findings regarding effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD) added to antiepileptic therapy in a cohort of children with drug-resistant epileptic encephalopathies (EEs) with a mean follow-up of 8.5 months (range, 3-12 months).

Methods: A prospective cohort study was designed with the aim of assessing the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of the addition of CBD to standard antiseizure medications (ASMs) in children with drug-resistant EE enrolled at a single center (Neurology Department, Hospital de Pediatría “Juan P. Garrahan”, Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Results: Fifty patients were enrolled between October 2018 and October 2019, 49 of whom had a follow-up of at least 3 months at the time this interim analysis was performed. Mean age at enrollment was 10.5 years (range 2-16). Median age at first seizure was 7 months. Up to the last visit of each patient (follow-up 3-12 months) 39/49 children (80 %) had responded to treatment with a decrease in seizure frequency. Overall, 77.6 % of the patients had a seizure reduction of at least 25 %, 73.5 % had a ≥ 50 % reduction, and 49 % had a ≥ 75 % reduction. Mean monthly seizure frequency was reduced from 959 to 381 (median decrease from 299 to 102, range, 38-1900; median decrease 66 %, p < 0.001). All adverse effects were mild or moderate. The most common adverse effect was drowsiness (in 32 %), usually reversed by adjusting clobazam dose (in 12 children).

Conclusion: In children with drug-resistant EEs, CBD oil as an adjuvant therapy to antiepileptic therapy seems safe, well tolerated, and effective.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32544657/

“Cannibidiol showed good effectiveness, with a ≥ 50 % reduction in seizure frequency in 73.5 % of the patients. Good results were obtained in patients with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. In epileptic encephalopathies other than Lennox-Gastaut results were also good. Cannabidiol showed good safety and tolerability as all adverse effects were mild or moderate.”

https://www.seizure-journal.com/article/S1059-1311(20)30167-9/pdf

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Does Cannabidiol Have Antiseizure Activity Independent of Its Interactions With Clobazam? An Appraisal of the Evidence From Randomized Controlled Trials

 Epilepsia“Four pivotal randomized placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated that adjunctive therapy with cannabidiol (CBD) improves seizure control in patients with Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

Between 47% and 68% of patients allocated to CBD treatment in these trials were receiving clobazam (CLB), which shows complex interactions with CBD resulting, in particular, in a 3.4- to 5-fold increase in plasma concentration of the active metabolite norclobazam. This raises concern as to the role played by these interactions in determining the reduction in seizure frequency in CBD-treated patients, and the question of whether CBD per se has clinically evident antiseizure effects.

We appraised available evidence on the clinical consequences of the CBD-CLB interaction, focusing on subgroup analyses of seizure outcomes in patients on and off CLB comedication in the pivotal CBD trials, as provided by the European Medicines Agency Public Assessment Report.

Evaluation of the results of individual trials clearly showed that improvement in seizure control over placebo was greater when CBD was added on to CLB than when it was added on to other medications. However, seizure control was also improved in patients off CLB, and despite the small sample size the difference vs placebo was statistically significant for the 10 mg/kg/d dose in one of the two LGS trials.

Stronger evidence for an antiseizure effect of CBD independent of an interaction with CLB emerges from meta-analyses of seizure outcomes in the pooled population of LGS and DS patients not receiving CLB comedication.

Although these results need to be interpreted taking into account methodological limitations, they provide the best clinical evidence to date that CBD exerts therapeutic effects in patients with epilepsy that are independent of its interaction with CLB. Greater antiseizure effects, and a greater burden of adverse effects, are observed when CBD is combined with CLB.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32452568/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/epi.16542

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Cannabinoids in epilepsy: Clinical efficacy and pharmacological considerations.

Neurología“Advances in the development of drugs with novel mechanisms of action have not been sufficient to significantly reduce the percentage of patients presenting drug-resistant epilepsy. This lack of satisfactory clinical results has led to the search for more effective treatment alternatives with new mechanisms of action.

The aim of this study is to examine epidemiological aspects of the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy, with particular emphasis on the main mechanisms of action, indications for use, clinical efficacy, and safety.

In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including epilepsy. The cannabis plant is currently known to contain more than 100 terpenophenolic compounds, known as cannabinoids. The 2 most abundant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Studies of preclinical models of epilepsy have shown that these cannabinoids have anticonvulsant properties, and 100% purified cannabidiol and cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extracts are now being used to treat epilepsy in humans. Several open-label studies and randomised controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of these products.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32317123

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0213485320300402?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol (CBD) Inhibited Rhodamine-123 Efflux in Cultured Vascular Endothelial Cells and Astrocytes Under Hypoxic Conditions.

Archive of "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience".“Despite the constant development of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), more than 30% of patients develop refractory epilepsy (RE) characterized by a multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype. The “transporters hypothesis” indicates that the mechanism of this MDR phenotype is the overexpression of ABC transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the neurovascular unit cells, limiting access of the AEDs to the brain.

Recent clinical trials and basic studies have shown encouraging results for the use of cannabinoids in RE, although its mechanisms of action are still not fully understood. Here, we have employed astrocytes and vascular endothelial cell cultures subjected to hypoxia, to test the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on the P-gp-dependent Rhodamine-123 (Rho-123) efflux.

Results show that during hypoxia, intracellular Rho-123 accumulation after CBD treatment is similar to that induced by the P-gp inhibitor Tariquidar (Tq). Noteworthy, this inhibition is like that registered in non-hypoxia conditions. Additionally, docking studies predicted that CBD could behave as a P-gp substrate by the interaction with several residues in the α-helix of the P-gp transmembrane domain.

Overall, these findings suggest a direct effect of CBD on the Rho-123 P-gp-dependent efflux activity, which might explain why the CBD add-on treatment regimen in RE patients results in a significant reduction in seizure frequency.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32256321

“Interestingly, for several thousand years, humanity has given medicinal use to Cannabis sativa (Marijuana), even for the treatment of epileptic patients. Our results indicate that, in addition to the various effects previously described by CBD, this drug can also inhibit the active efflux of Rho-123, a known P-gp substrate, in two types of cells of the NVU, in a similar (though less potent) manner to TQ. Consistently, our in silico study indicates that CBD may bind the transmembrane domain of P-gp, possibly acting as a competitive inhibitor. CBD could thus be used as an adjuvant therapy to reverse the MDR phenotype as observed in patients with RE, which could explain its recent approval as an add-on therapy to treat severe refractory childhood epilepsies.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00032/full

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Differential Inhibition of Human Nav1.2 Resurgent and Persistent Sodium Currents by Cannabidiol and GS967.

ijms-logo “Many epilepsy patients are refractory to conventional antiepileptic drugs.

Resurgent and persistent currents can be enhanced by epilepsy mutations in the Nav1.2 channel, but conventional antiepileptic drugs inhibit normal transient currents through these channels, along with aberrant resurgent and persistent currents that are enhanced by Nav1.2 epilepsy mutations.

Pharmacotherapies that specifically target aberrant resurgent and/or persistent currents would likely have fewer unwanted side effects and be effective in many patients with refractory epilepsy.

This study investigated the effects of cannbidiol (CBD) and GS967 (each at 1 μM) on transient, resurgent, and persistent currents in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably expressing wild-type hNav1.2 channels.

We found that CBD preferentially inhibits resurgent currents over transient currents in this paradigm; and that GS967 preferentially inhibits persistent currents over transient currents.

Therefore, CBD and GS967 may represent a new class of more targeted and effective antiepileptic drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32244818

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/7/2454

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Is cannabidiol a drug acting on unconventional targets to control drug-resistant epilepsy?

Publication cover image“Cannabis has been considered as a therapeutic strategy to control intractable epilepsy.

Several cannabis components, especially cannabidiol (CBD), induce antiseizure effects. However, additional information is necessary to identify the types of epilepsies that can be controlled by these components and the mechanisms involved in these effects.

This review presents a summary of the discussion carried out during the 2nd Latin American Workshop on Neurobiology of Epilepsy entitled “Cannabinoid and epilepsy: myths and realities.” This event was carried out during the 10th Latin American Epilepsy Congress in San José de Costa Rica (September 28, 2018).

The review focuses to discuss the use of CBD as a new therapeutic strategy to control drug-resistant epilepsy. It also indicates the necessity to consider the evaluation of unconventional targets such as P-glycoprotein, to explain the effects of CBD in drug-resistant epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32140642

“Cannabidiol is a multitarget drug that represents a new hope to control drug‐resistant epilepsy.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/epi4.12376

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