Category Archives: Epilepsia

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

Category : Epilepsia

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

N Engl J Med. 2018 May 17;378(20):1888-1897

Authors: Devinsky O, Patel AD, Cross JH, Villanueva V, Wirrell EC, Privitera M, Greenwood SM, Roberts C, Checketts D, VanLandingham KE, Zuberi SM, GWPCARE3 Study Group

Abstract
Background 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. Methods In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 30 clinical centers, we randomly assigned patients with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (age range, 2 to 55 years) who had had two or more drop seizures per week during a 28-day baseline period to receive cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of either 20 mg per kilogram of body weight (20-mg cannabidiol group) or 10 mg per kilogram (10-mg cannabidiol group) or matching placebo, administered in two equally divided doses daily for 14 weeks. The primary outcome was the percentage change from baseline in the frequency of drop seizures (average per 28 days) during the treatment period. Results A total of 225 patients were enrolled; 76 patients were assigned to the 20-mg cannabidiol group, 73 to the 10-mg cannabidiol group, and 76 to the placebo group. During the 28-day baseline period, the median number of drop seizures was 85 in all trial groups combined. The median percent reduction from baseline in drop-seizure frequency during the treatment period was 41.9% in the 20-mg cannabidiol group, 37.2% in the 10-mg cannabidiol group, and 17.2% in the placebo group (P=0.005 for the 20-mg cannabidiol group vs. placebo group, and P=0.002 for the 10-mg cannabidiol group vs. placebo group). The most common adverse events among the patients in the cannabidiol groups were somnolence, decreased appetite, and diarrhea; these events occurred more frequently in the higher-dose group. Six patients in the 20-mg cannabidiol group and 1 patient in the 10-mg cannabidiol group discontinued the trial medication because of adverse events and were withdrawn from the trial. Fourteen patients who received cannabidiol (9%) had elevated liver aminotransferase concentrations. Conclusions 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. Adverse events with cannabidiol included elevated liver aminotransferase concentrations. (Funded by GW Pharmaceuticals; GWPCARE3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02224560 .).

PMID: 29768152 [PubMed – in process]

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Chronic exposure to cannabidiol induces reproductive toxicity in male Swiss mice.

Category : Epilepsia

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Chronic exposure to cannabidiol induces reproductive toxicity in male Swiss mice.

J Appl Toxicol. 2018 May 16;:

Authors: Carvalho RK, Santos ML, Souza MR, Rocha TL, Guimarães FS, Anselmo-Franci JA, Mazaro-Costa R

Abstract
Children and adults with frequent and severe episodes of epilepsy that do not respond to standard treatments (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin and valproate) have long been prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) as an anticonvulsant drug. However, the safety of its chronic use in relation to reproduction has not been fully examined. This study aimed to assess the effects of chronic CBD exposure on the male reproductive system. CBD was orally administered to 21-day-old male Swiss mice at doses of 15 and 30 mg kg-1 daily (CBD 15 and 30 groups, respectively), with a control group receiving sunflower oil, for 34 consecutive days. After a 35 day recovery period, the following parameters were evaluated: weight of reproductive organs, testosterone concentration, spermatogenesis, histomorphometry, daily sperm production and its morphology. The CBD 30 group had a 76% decrease in total circulating testosterone, but it remained within the physiological normal range (240-1100 ng dl-1 ). CBD treatment induced a significant increase in the frequency of stages I-IV and V-VI of spermatogenesis, and a decrease in the frequency of stages VII-VIII and XII. A significant decrease in the number of Sertoli cells was observed only in the CBD 30 group. In both CBD groups the number of spermatozoa in the epididymis tail was reduced by 38%, sperm had head abnormalities, and cytoplasmic droplets were observed in the medial region of flagellum. These results indicated that chronic CBD exposure was associated with changes in the male reproductive system, suggesting its reproductive toxicity.

PMID: 29766538 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – An observational, longitudinal study.

Category : Epilepsia

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Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – An observational, longitudinal study.

Brain Dev. 2018 Apr 16;:

Authors: Hausman-Kedem M, Menascu S, Kramer U

Abstract
The objective of this observational study was to evaluate the efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Fifty-seven patients (age 1-20 years) with epilepsy of various etiologies were treated with Cannabis oil extract (CBD/THC ratio of 20:1) for at least 3 months (Median follow up time-18 months). Forty-Six Patients were included in the efficacy analysis. Average CBD dose was11.4 mg/kg/d. Twenty-six patients (56%) had ≤50% reduction in mean monthly seizure frequency. There was no statistically significant difference in response rate among various epilepsy etiologies, and cannabis strain used. Younger age at treatment onset (<10 years) and higher CBD dose (>11 mg/kg/d) were associated with better response to treatment. Adverse reactions were reported in 46% of patients and were the main reason for treatment cessation. Our results suggest that adding CBD-enriched cannabis extract to the treatment regimen of patients with refractory epilepsy may result in a significant reduction in seizure frequency according to parental reports. Randomized controlled trials are necessary to assess its true efficacy.

PMID: 29674131 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Reefer to the Rescue: The Dope on Cannabidiol as a Multi-Symptom Panacea for Dravet Syndrome.

Category : Epilepsia

Reefer to the Rescue: The Dope on Cannabidiol as a Multi-Symptom Panacea for Dravet Syndrome.

Epilepsy Curr. 2018 Mar-Apr;18(2):118-120

Authors: Gupta A, Santhakumar V

PMID: 29643753 [PubMed]

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Treatment Strategies for Dravet Syndrome.

Category : Epilepsia

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Treatment Strategies for Dravet Syndrome.

CNS Drugs. 2018 Mar 28;:

Authors: Knupp KG, Wirrell EC

Abstract
Dravet syndrome (DS) is a medically refractory epilepsy that onsets in the first year of life with prolonged seizures, often triggered by fever. Over time, patients develop other seizure types (myoclonic, atypical absences, drops), intellectual disability, crouch gait and other co-morbidities (sleep problems, autonomic dysfunction). Complete seizure control is generally not achievable with current therapies, and the goals of treatment are to balance reduction of seizure burden with adverse effects of therapies. Treatment of co-morbidities must also be addressed, as they have a significant impact on the quality of life of patients with DS. Seizures are typically worsened with sodium-channel agents. Accepted first-line agents include clobazam and valproic acid, although these rarely provide adequate seizure control. Benefit has also been noted with topiramate, levetiracetam, the ketogenic diet and vagal nerve stimulation. Several agents presently in development, specifically fenfluramine and cannabidiol, have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Status epilepticus is a recurring problem for patients with DS, particularly in their early childhood years. All patients should be prescribed a home rescue therapy (usually a benzodiazepine) but should also have a written seizure action plan that outlines when rescue should be given and further steps to take in the local hospital if the seizure persists despite home rescue therapy.

PMID: 29594870 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Cannabidiol exerts antiepileptic effects by restoring hippocampal interneuron functions in a temporal lobe epilepsy model.

Category : Epilepsia

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Cannabidiol exerts antiepileptic effects by restoring hippocampal interneuron functions in a temporal lobe epilepsy model.

Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Mar 25;:

Authors: Khan AA, Shekh-Ahmad T, Khalil A, Walker MC, Ali AB

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), shows promising results as an effective potential antiepileptic drug in some forms of refractory epilepsy. In an attempt to understand the mechanisms by which CBD exerts its anti-seizure effects, we investigated the effects of CBD at synaptic connections, and the intrinsic membrane properties of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and two major inhibitory interneurons: fast spiking, parvalbumin -expressing (PV) and adapting, cholecystokinin-expressing (CCK) interneurons. We also investigated whether in vivo treatment with CBD altered the fate of CCK and PV interneurons using immunohistochemistry.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Electrophysiological intracellular whole-cell recordings combined with neuroanatomy were performed in acute brain slices of rat temporal lobe epilepsy (in vivo kainic acid-induced) and in vitro (Mg2+ -free-induced) epileptic seizure models. For immunohistochemistry experiments, CBD was administered in vivo (100 mg kg-1 ) at zero time and 90 minutes post status epilepticus (SE) induced with kainic acid.
KEY RESULTS: Bath-application of CBD (10 μM), dampened excitability at unitary synapses between pyramidal cells, but enhanced inhibitory synaptic potentials elicited by fast spiking and adapting interneurons at postsynaptic pyramidal cells. Furthermore, CBD restored impaired membrane excitability of PV, CCK, and pyramidal cells in a cell type-specific manner. These neuroprotective effects of CBD were corroborated by immunohistochemistry experiments that revealed a significant reduction of atrophy and death of PV- and CCK-expressing interneurons after CBD treatment.
CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: In conclusion, our data suggest CBD restores excitability and morphological impairment in epileptic models to pre-epilepsy control levels through multiple mechanisms to restore normal network function.

PMID: 29574880 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Randomized, dose-ranging safety trial of cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome.

Category : Epilepsia

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Randomized, dose-ranging safety trial of cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome.

Neurology. 2018 Mar 14;:

Authors: Devinsky O, Patel AD, Thiele EA, Wong MH, Appleton R, Harden CL, Greenwood S, Morrison G, Sommerville K, GWPCARE1 Part A Study Group

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and preliminary pharmacokinetics of a pharmaceutical formulation of purified cannabidiol (CBD) in children with Dravet syndrome.
METHODS: Patients aged 4-10 years were randomized 4:1 to CBD (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg/d) or placebo taken twice daily. The double-blind trial comprised 4-week baseline, 3-week treatment (including titration), 10-day taper, and 4-week follow-up periods. Completers could continue in an open-label extension. Multiple pharmacokinetic blood samples were taken on the first day of dosing and at end of treatment for measurement of CBD, its metabolites 6-OH-CBD, 7-OH-CBD, and 7-COOH-CBD, and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs; clobazam and metabolite N-desmethylclobazam [N-CLB], valproate, levetiracetam, topiramate, and stiripentol). Safety assessments were clinical laboratory tests, physical examinations, vital signs, ECGs, adverse events (AEs), seizure frequency, and suicidality.
RESULTS: Thirty-four patients were randomized (10, 8, and 9 to the 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg/d CBD groups, and 7 to placebo); 32 (94%) completed treatment. Exposure to CBD and its metabolites was dose-proportional (AUC0-t). CBD did not affect concomitant AED levels, apart from an increase in N-CLB (except in patients taking stiripentol). The most common AEs on CBD were pyrexia, somnolence, decreased appetite, sedation, vomiting, ataxia, and abnormal behavior. Six patients taking CBD and valproate developed elevated transaminases; none met criteria for drug-induced liver injury and all recovered. No other clinically relevant safety signals were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to CBD and its metabolites increased proportionally with dose. An interaction with N-CLB was observed, likely related to CBD inhibition of cytochrome P450 subtype 2C19. CBD resulted in more AEs than placebo but was generally well-tolerated.
CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class I evidence that for children with Dravet syndrome, CBD resulted in more AEs than placebo but was generally well-tolerated.

PMID: 29540584 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Cannabidiol for treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies: Experience from a single tertiary epilepsy center in Slovenia.

Category : Epilepsia

Cannabidiol for treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies: Experience from a single tertiary epilepsy center in Slovenia.

Epilepsy Behav. 2018 Mar 08;:

Authors: Neubauer D, Perković Benedik M, Osredkar D

Abstract
PURPOSE: Refractory epilepsies in children present a major burden for patients and their families. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been suggested as a potential treatment for refractory epilepsies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of add-on therapy with CBD for the treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies.
METHOD: Patients with childhood-onset refractory epilepsy, treated at the tertiary epilepsy center of the University Children’s Hospital Ljubljana, Slovenia, were included in the study. Add-on therapy with CBD was initiated once the child’s epilepsy was categorized as pharmacoresistant to other antiepileptic drugs/therapies. The dosage of CBD was gradually increased to at least 8mg/kg/day. The effect of CBD treatment was evaluated by the reduction in seizure burden and presence of side effects (positive and negative). Serial electroencephalography was performed in some children.
RESULTS: Sixty-six patients were included in the analysis. Thirty-two (48.5%) patients had a more than 50% improvement regarding seizure burden, 14 of whom (21.2%) became seizure-free. None of the patients reported worsening of seizure frequency, but CBD had no effect in 15 (22.7%) patients. Some patients reported less vigorous seizures, shorter duration of seizures, shorter time to recovery, and other positive side effects of CBD treatment. Adverse effects were reported in 5/66 children.
CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort of patients, CBD was found to have potential benefits as add-on therapy for refractory childhood epilepsies, mainly by reducing seizure burden.

PMID: 29526578 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence.

Category : Epilepsia

Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 06;:

Authors: Stockings E, Zagic D, Campbell G, Weier M, Hall WD, Nielsen S, Herkes GK, Farrell M, Degenhardt L

Abstract
Review evidence for cannabinoids as adjunctive treatments for treatment-resistant epilepsy. Systematic search of Medline, Embase and PsycINFO was conducted in October 2017. Outcomes were: 50%+ seizure reduction, complete seizure freedom; improved quality of life (QoL). Tolerability/safety were assessed by study withdrawals, adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs). Analyses were conducted in Stata V.15.0. 36 studies were identified: 6 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), 30 observational studies. Mean age of participants was 16.1 years (range 0.5-55 years). Cannabidiol (CBD) 20 mg/kg/day was more effective than placebo at reducing seizure frequency by 50%+(relative risk (RR) 1.74, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.43, 2 RCTs, 291 patients, low Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) rating). The number needed to treat for one person using CBD to experience 50%+ seizure reduction was 8 (95% CI 6 to 17). CBD was more effective than placebo at achieving complete seizure freedom (RR 6.17, 95% CI 1.50 to 25.32, 3 RCTs, 306 patients, low GRADE rating), and improving QoL (RR 1.73, 95% CI 1.33 to 2.26), however increased risk of AEs (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.36) and SAEs (RR 2.55, 95% CI 1.48 to 4.38). Pooled across 17 observational studies, 48.5% (95% CI 39.0% to 58.1%) of patients reported 50%+ reductions in seizures; in 14 observational studies 8.5% (95% CI 3.8% to 14.5%) were seizure-free. Twelve observational studies reported improved QoL (55.8%, 95% CI 40.5 to 70.6); 50.6% (95% CI 31.7 to 69.4) AEs and 2.2% (95% CI 0 to 7.9) SAEs. Pharmaceutical-grade CBD as adjuvant treatment in paediatric-onset drug-resistant epilepsy may reduce seizure frequency. Existing RCT evidence is mostly in paediatric samples with rare and severe epilepsy syndromes; RCTs examining other syndromes and cannabinoids are needed.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017055412.

PMID: 29511052 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Cannabidiol Regulates Long Term Potentiation Following Status Epilepticus: Mediation by Calcium Stores and Serotonin.

Category : Epilepsia

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Cannabidiol Regulates Long Term Potentiation Following Status Epilepticus: Mediation by Calcium Stores and Serotonin.

Front Mol Neurosci. 2018;11:32

Authors: Maggio N, Shavit Stein E, Segal M

Abstract
Epilepsy is a devastating disease, with cognitive and emotional consequences that are not curable. In recent years, it became apparent that cannabinoids help patients to cope with epilepsy. We have studied the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the ability to produce long term potentiation (LTP) in stratum radiatum of CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. Exposure to seizure-producing pilocarpine reduced the ability to generate LTP in the slice. Pre-exposure to CBD prevented this effect of pilocarpine. Furthermore, CBD caused a marked increase in ability to generate LTP, an effect that was blocked by calcium store antagonists as well as by a reduction in serotonin tone. Serotonin, possibly acting at a 5HT1A receptor, or fenfluramine (FFA), which causes release of serotonin from its native terminals, mimicked the effect of CBD. It is proposed that CBD enhances non-NMDA LTP in the slice by facilitating release of serotonin from terminals, consequently ameliorating the detrimental effects of pilocarpine.

PMID: 29467619 [PubMed]

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