Cannabis Constituents Reduce Seizure Behavior in Chemically-Induced and scn1a-mutant Zebrafish

Epilepsy and Behavior Journal | Epilepsy Foundation“Current antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are undesirable for many reasons including the inability to reduce seizures in certain types of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome (DS) where in one-third of patients does not respond to current AEDs, and severe adverse effects that are frequently experienced by patients.

Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug, was recently approved for treatment of DS. While Epidiolex shows great promise in reducing seizures in patients with DS, it is used in conjunction with other AEDs and can cause liver toxicity. To investigate whether other cannabis-derived compounds could also reduce seizures, the antiepileptic effects of CBD, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinol (CBN), and linalool (LN) were compared in both a chemically-induced (pentylenetetrazole, PTZ) and a DS (scn1Lab-/-) seizure models.

Cannabidiol (0.6 and 1 μM) and THC (1 and 4 μM) significantly reduced PTZ-induced total distance moved. At the highest THC concentration, the significant reduction in PTZ-induced behavior was likely the result of sedation as opposed to antiseizure activity.

In the DS model, CBD (0.6 μM), THC (1 μM), CBN (0.6 and 1 μM), and LN (4 μM) significantly reduced total distance traveled. Cannabinol was the most effective at reducing total distance relative to controls. In addition to CBD, other cannabis-derived compounds showed promise in reducing seizure-like activity in zebrafish.

Specifically, four of the five compounds were effective in the DS model, whereas in the PTZ model, only CBD and THC were, suggesting a divergence in the mode of action among the cannabis constituents.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32585475/

“In the DS model, CBD, THC, CBN, and LN caused significant reduction in seizure behavior, while THC and CBD were effective in both models.”

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1525505020303310

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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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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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Cannabis and the exocannabinoid and endocannabinoid systems. Their use and controversies.

“Cannabis (marijuana) is one of the most consumed psychoactive substances in the world. The term marijuana is of Mexican origin. The primary cannabinoids that have been studied to date include cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for most cannabis physical and psychotropic effects. Recently, the endocannabinoid system was discovered, which is made up of receptors, ligands and enzymes that are widely expressed in the brain and its periphery, where they act to maintain balance in several homeostatic processes. Exogenous cannabinoids or naturally-occurring phytocannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system. Marijuana must be processed in a laboratory to extract tetrahydrocannabinol and leave cannabidiol, which is the product that can be marketed. Some studies suggest cannabidiol has great potential for therapeutic use as an agent with antiepileptic, analgesic, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties; however, the findings on cannabinoids efficacy and cannabis-based medications tolerability-safety for some conditions are inconsistent. More scientific evidence is required in order to generate recommendations on the use of medicinal cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32091020

http://gacetamedicademexico.com/frame_eng.php?id=348

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Adjunctive Cannabidiol in Patients with Dravet Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Efficacy and Safety.

 “Dravet syndrome (DS) is one of the most severe forms of drug-resistant epilepsy and available interventions fail to control seizures in most patients.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the first in a new class of antiepileptic drugs with a distinctive chemical structure and mechanism of action.

The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CBD as adjunctive treatment for seizures in patients with DS using meta-analytical techniques.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adjunctive CBD resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive seizure frequency than placebo and a higher rate of AEs in patients with DS presenting with seizures uncontrolled by concomitant antiepileptic therapy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32040850

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-020-00708-6

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Exploiting cannabinoid and vanilloid mechanisms for epilepsy treatment.

“This review focuses on the possible roles of phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and “transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1” (TRPV1) channel blockers in epilepsy treatment.

The phytocannabinoids are compounds produced by the herb Cannabis sativa, from which Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the main active compound. The therapeutic applications of Δ9-THC are limited, whereas cannabidiol (CBD), another phytocannabinoid, induces antiepileptic effects in experimental animals and in patients with refractory epilepsies.

Synthetic CB1 agonists induce mixed effects, which hamper their therapeutic applications. A more promising strategy focuses on compounds that increase the brain levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid produced on-demand to counteract hyperexcitability. Thus, anandamide hydrolysis inhibitors might represent a future class of antiepileptic drugs. Finally, compounds that block the TRPV1 (“vanilloid”) channel, a possible anandamide target in the brain, have also been investigated.

In conclusion, the therapeutic use of phytocannabinoids (CBD) is already in practice, although its mechanisms of action remain unclear. Endocannabinoid and TRPV1 mechanisms warrant further basic studies to support their potential clinical applications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31839498

“Cannabidiol is in clinical use for refractory epilepsies.”

https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(19)30373-7/fulltext

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Cannabis-based treatments as an alternative remedy for epilepsy

Integrative Medicine Research“Much of the initial reports for cannabis use in seizure control centered on the compound 9-Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, due to the psychoactive properties of THC potential utility was somewhat limited and recent research has focused on non-psychoactive compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD).

The anti-seizure effects of CBD may come from mechanisms such as functional agonism or antagonism at several 7-transmembrane receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter transporters.

Recently, another compound that also is without psychoactive effects known as CBDV has also shown anti-seizure properties both in vivo and in vitro.

Many reports exist on illicit cannabis use through the smoking of marijuana by patients as a self-treatment.

Cannabis and cannabis-based treatments offer promising alternatives to traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

Due to the unfortunate fact that many patients suffer from Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), cannabis-based treatments have great value.

Cannabis-based treatments offer some patients with DRE a great remedy for their condition with limited side effects.

This option may prevent some patients with DRE from needing to consider more invasive options such as surgical interventions. In case studies, open label studies, and RCTs, one can see drastic improvements in the frequency of seizures in patients with certain forms of epilepsy.

It is imperative to continue research into cannabis as a potential primary treatment for epilepsy, particularly those with DRE, to help improve quality of life for millions of people suffering from epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31463193

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221342201930157X?via%3Dihub

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The safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of PTL-101, an oral cannabidiol formulation, in pediatric intractable epilepsy: A phase II, open-label, single-center study.

“Several works have reported on the antiepileptic impact of cannabis-based preparations in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE). However, current formulations suffer from low bioavailability and side effects. PTL-101, an oral formulation containing highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) embedded in seamless gelatin matrix beadlets was designed to enhance bioavailability and maintain a constant gastrointestinal transit time.

RESULTS:

Sixteen patients (age: 9.1±3.4) enrolled in the study; 11 completed the full treatment program. The average maintenance dose was 13.6±4.2mg/kg. Patient adherence to treatment regimens was 96.3±9.9%. By the end of the treatment period, 81.9% and 73.4±24.6% (p<0.05) reductions from baseline median seizure count and monthly seizure frequency, respectively, were recorded. Responders’ rate was 56%; two patients became fully seizure-free. By study end, 8 (73%) caregivers reported an improved/very much improved condition, and 9 (82%) reported reduced/very much reduced seizure severity. Most commonly reported treatment-related adverse effects were sleep disturbance/insomnia, (4 (25.0%) patients), followed by somnolence, increased seizure frequency, and restlessness (3 patients each (18.8%)). None were serious or severe, and all resolved.

CONCLUSIONS:

PTL-101 was safe and tolerable for use and demonstrated a potent seizure-reducing effect among pediatric patients with TRE.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31394352

https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(19)30305-1/fulltext

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Therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol for alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related damages on the liver and the brain

 Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound of cannabis, which exerts complex and widespread immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, and antiepileptic properties. Many experimental data suggest that CBD could have several types of application in alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-related damage on the brain and the liver.

Experimental studies converge to find that CBD reduces the overall level of alcohol drinking in animal models of AUD by reducing ethanol intake, motivation for ethanol, relapse, and by decreasing anxiety and impulsivity. Moreover, CBD has been shown to reduce alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis in the liver by reducing lipid accumulation, stimulating autophagy, modulating inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and inducing death of activated hepatic stellate cells. Last, CBD has been found to reduce alcohol-related brain damage, preventing neuronal loss by its antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.

CBD could directly reduce alcohol drinking in subjects with AUD. But other original applications warrant human trials in this population. By reducing alcohol-related processes of steatosis in the liver, and brain alcohol-related damage, CBD could improve both the hepatic and neurocognitive outcomes of subjects with AUD, regardless of the individual drinking trajectories. This might pave the way for testing new harm reduction approaches in AUD, i.e., for protecting the organs of subjects with an ongoing AUD.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00627/abstract

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