Category Archives: Epilepsia

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Effects of antiepileptic drugs on mitochondrial functions, morphology, kinetics, biogenesis, and survival.

Category : Epilepsia

Effects of antiepileptic drugs on mitochondrial functions, morphology, kinetics, biogenesis, and survival.

Epilepsy Res. 2017 Jul 13;136:5-11

Authors: Finsterer J, Scorza FA

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) exhibit adverse and beneficial effects on mitochondria, which have a strong impact on the treatment of patients with a mitochondrial disorder (MID) with epilepsy (mitochondrial epilepsy). This review aims at summarizing and discussing recent findings concerning the effect of AEDs on mitochondrial functions and the clinical consequences with regard to therapy of mitochondrial epilepsy and of MIDs in general.
METHODS: Literature review.
RESULTS: AEDs may interfere with the respiratory chain, with non-respiratory chain enzymes, carrier proteins, or mitochondrial biogenesis, with carrier proteins, membrane-bound channels or receptors and the membrane potential, with anti-oxidative defense mechanisms, with morphology, dynamics and survival of mitochondria, and with the mtDNA. There are AEDs of which adverse effects outweigh beneficial effects, such as valproic acid, carbamazepine, phenytoin, or phenobarbital and there are AEDs in which beneficial effects dominate over mitochondrial toxic effects, such as lamotrigine, levetiracetam, gabapentin, or zonisamide. However, from most AEDs only little is known about their interference with mitochondria.
CONCLUSIONS: Mitochondrial epilepsy might be initially treated with AEDs with low mitochondrial toxic potential. Only in case mitochondrial epilepsy is refractory to these AEDs, AEDs with higher mitochondrial toxic potential might be tried. In patients carrying POLG1 mutations AEDs with high mitochondrial toxic potential are contraindicated.

PMID: 28732239 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Cannabinoids in Pediatrics.

Category : Epilepsia

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Cannabinoids in Pediatrics.

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2017 May-Jun;22(3):176-185

Authors: Campbell CT, Phillips MS, Manasco K

Abstract
Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. Many providers have started encountering patients experimenting with cannabis products for a wide range of conditions. While the debate continues regarding these agents for both medicinal and recreational use in the general population, special consideration needs to be made for pediatric use. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.

PMID: 28638299 [PubMed – in process]

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Assessing the role of serotonergic receptors in cannabidiol’s anticonvulsant efficacy.

Category : Epilepsia

Assessing the role of serotonergic receptors in cannabidiol’s anticonvulsant efficacy.

Epilepsy Behav. 2017 Jun 15;73:111-118

Authors: Pelz MC, Schoolcraft KD, Larson C, Spring MG, López HH

Abstract
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid that has demonstrated anticonvulsant efficacy in several animal models of seizure. The current experiment validated CBD’s anticonvulsant effect using the acute pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) model. Furthermore, it tested whether CBD reduces seizure activity by interacting with either the serotonergic 5HT1A or 5HT2A receptor. 120 male adolescent Wistar-Kyoto rats were randomly assigned to 8 treatment groups in two consecutive experiments. In both experiments, subjects received either CBD (100mg/kg) or vehicle 60min prior to seizure testing. In Experiment 1, subjects received either WAY-100635 (1mg/kg), a 5HT1A antagonist, or saline vehicle injection 80min prior to seizure testing. In Experiment 2, subjects received either MDL-100907 (0.3mg/kg), a specific 5HT2A antagonist, or 40% DMSO vehicle 80min prior to seizure testing. 85mg/kg of PTZ was administered to induce seizure, and behavior was recorded for 30min. Seizure behaviors were subsequently coded using a 5-point scale of severity. Across both experiments, subjects in the vehicle control groups exhibited high levels of seizure activity and mortality. In both experiments, CBD treatment significantly attenuated seizure activity. Pre-treatment with either WAY-100635 or MDL-100907 did not block CBD’s anticonvulsant effect. WAY-100635 administration, by itself, also led to a significant attenuation of seizure activity. These results do not support the hypothesis that CBD attenuates seizure activity through activation of the 5HT1A or 5HT2A receptor. While this work further confirms the anticonvulsant efficacy of CBD and supports its application in the treatment of human seizure disorders, additional research on CBD’s mechanism of action must be conducted.

PMID: 28624721 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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

Category : Epilepsia

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

Epilepsia. 2017 Jun 15;:

Authors: Rosenberg EC, Louik J, Conway E, Devinsky O, Friedman D

Abstract
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.

PMID: 28617940 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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

Category : Epilepsia

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

N Engl J Med. 2017 05 25;376(21):2011-2020

Authors: Devinsky O, Cross JH, Laux L, Marsh E, Miller I, Nabbout R, Scheffer IE, Thiele EA, Wright S, Cannabidiol in Dravet Syndrome Study Group

Abstract
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 .).

PMID: 28538134 [PubMed – in process]

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Evaluation of Cannabidiol in Animal Seizure Models by the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP).

Category : Epilepsia

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Evaluation of Cannabidiol in Animal Seizure Models by the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP).

Neurochem Res. 2017 May 06;:

Authors: Klein BD, Jacobson CA, Metcalf CS, Smith MD, Wilcox KS, Hampson AJ, Kehne JH

Abstract
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid component of marijuana that has no significant activity at cannabinoid receptors or psychoactive effects. There is considerable interest in CBD as a therapy for epilepsy. Almost a third of epilepsy patients are not adequately controlled by clinically available anti-seizure drugs (ASDs). Initial studies appear to demonstrate that CBD preparations may be a useful treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) funded Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) investigated CBD in a battery of seizure models using a refocused screening protocol aimed at identifying pharmacotherapies to address the unmet need in pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Applying this new screening workflow, CBD was investigated in mouse 6 Hz 44 mA, maximal electroshock (MES), corneal kindling models and rat MES and lamotrigine-resistant amygdala kindling models. Following intraperitoneal (i.p.) pretreatment, CBD produced dose-dependent protection in the acute seizure models; mouse 6 Hz 44 mA (ED50 164 mg/kg), mouse MES (ED50 83.5 mg/kg) and rat MES (ED50 88.9 mg/kg). In chronic models, CBD produced dose-dependent protection in the corneal kindled mouse (ED50 119 mg/kg) but CBD (up to 300 mg/kg) was not protective in the lamotrigine-resistant amygdala kindled rat. Motor impairment assessed in conjunction with the acute seizure models showed that CBD exerted seizure protection at non-impairing doses. The ETSP investigation demonstrates that CBD exhibits anti-seizure properties in acute seizure models and the corneal kindled mouse. However, further preclinical and clinical studies are needed to determine the potential for CBD to address the unmet needs in pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

PMID: 28478594 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Treatment-resistant Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: therapeutic trends, challenges and future directions.

Category : Epilepsia

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Treatment-resistant Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: therapeutic trends, challenges and future directions.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017;13:1131-1140

Authors: Ostendorf AP, Ng YT

Abstract
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe, childhood-onset electroclinical syndrome comprised of multiple seizure types, intellectual and behavioral disturbances and characteristic findings on electroencephalogram of slow spike and wave complexes and paroxysmal fast frequency activity. Profound morbidity often accompanies a common and severe seizure type, the drop attack. Seizures often remain refractory, or initial treatment efficacy fades. Few individuals are seizure free despite the development of multiple generations of antiseizure medications over decades and high-level evidence on several choices. Approved medications such as lamotrigine, topiramate, rufinamide, felbamate and clobazam have demonstrated efficacy in reducing seizure burden. Cannabidiol has emerged as a promising investigational therapy with vast social interest yet lacks a standard, approved formulation. Palliative surgical procedures, such as vagal nerve stimulation and corpus callosotomy may provide reduction in total seizures and drop attacks. Emerging evidence suggests that complete callosotomy provides greater improvement in seizures without additional side effects. Etiologies such as dysplasia or hypothalamic hamartoma may be amenable for focal resection and thus offer potential to reverse this devastating epileptic encephalopathy.

PMID: 28461749 [PubMed – in process]

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