CBD for Treatment of Epilepsy

CBD for Epilepsy Treatment

How does CBC help treat epilepsy

A recent study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine has unveiled a novel mechanism through which cannabidiol (CBD), a compound present in cannabis, helps mitigate seizures in various forms of pediatric epilepsy that are resistant to conventional treatments. The research specifically highlighted CBD's interference with signals transmitted by lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), a molecule located in neurons of the brain.

While LPI is normally involved in amplifying nerve signals as part of regular function, it can be exploited by diseases to provoke seizures. Published on February 13 in Neuron, the study reinforced a prior discovery indicating that CBD obstructs LPI's capacity to enhance nerve signals within the hippocampus, a region of the brain.

Importantly, the findings propose for the first time that LPI not only amplifies seizure-inducing signals but also weakens signals that counteract seizures, providing additional insights into the therapeutic value of CBD. Richard W. Tsien, PhD, the corresponding author and chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at NYU Langone Health, emphasized the study's contribution to understanding a pivotal mechanism in seizure induction and its potential implications for developing new treatment strategies. Dr. Tsien, who also serves as the director of NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute, highlighted the broader impact of the research by shedding light on how CBD not only counteracts seizures but also plays a role in balancing brain circuits—a balance relevant to conditions like autism and schizophrenia.

Recent Study - The Disease Causing Loop

The recent study, led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, delves into a previously undiscovered mechanism through which cannabidiol (CBD), a component found in cannabis, mitigates seizures in treatment-resistant forms of pediatric epilepsy. The research focuses on the intricate process of how neurons transmit electrical pulses along their extensions to synapses, the gaps connecting them to other cells. The study, published in Neuron on February 13, examined various rodent models, employing fine-tipped electrodes to measure electrical current flows and exploring the impact of lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), a molecule in neurons associated with amplifying nerve signals.

LPI Influences nerve signals

The findings confirm that LPI influences nerve signals by binding to a protein called G-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) on neuron surfaces, leading to the release of calcium ions and encouraging the release of glutamate, a primary excitatory neurotransmitter. Moreover, when LPI activates GPR55 on the other side of the synapse, it weakens inhibition by disrupting the supply and proper arrangement of proteins essential for inhibition. This dual mechanism increases excitability, potentially contributing to seizures.

The research team discovered

The research team discovered that genetically engineering mice to lack GPR55 or administering plant-derived CBD before inducing seizures blocked LPI-mediated effects on both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. While previous studies had implicated GPR55 as a target for CBD’s seizure-reducing effects, this study offers a more detailed proposed mechanism of action.

The study suggest

The study suggests that CBD interrupts a “positive feedback loop” in which seizures enhance LPI–GPR55 signaling, leading to a cycle that promotes more seizures. This proposed mechanism offers insight into the potential explanation for recurring epileptic seizures, although further studies are needed for confirmation.

Plant based CBD

While the study focused on plant-based CBD, the authors note that LPI is part of a signaling network that includes endocannabinoids naturally present in human tissues. LPI and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endocannabinoid, target receptors regulated by CBD but have different actions at the synapse. The authors propose that future drug design could target enzymes involved in LPI production or promote its conversion to 2-AG as a strategy to control seizures.

First study author

First study author Evan Rosenberg, PhD, suggests that the brain could potentially toggle between pro-excitatory LPI and the restorative actions of 2-AG, offering avenues for drug design to control activity. The study also highlights LPI as a potential biomarker of seizures or a predictor of clinical responsiveness to CBD, warranting further research.

Department of Neuroscience

Alongside Dr. Richard W. Tsien and Dr. Evan Rosenberg, study authors from the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology and Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone include Simon Chamberland, Erica Nebet, Xiaohan Wang, Sam McKenzie, Alejandro Salah, Nicolas Chenouard, Simon Sun, and György Buzsáki, MD, PhD. Additional authors from NYU Langone and collaborating institutions are mentioned, and the study was supported by various grants and fellowships.