Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine demonstrate that it can relieve seizures and regulate brain rhythms in Angelman Syndrome, a rare neurological disease.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, research using animal models of the Angelman syndrome, shows that CBD could help patients with this serious disease, which is characterized by intellectual disability, lack of capacity verbal expression, dysfunction of the brain rhythm and severe epilepsy often resistant to drugs. Cannabidiol (CBD), is commonly used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, pain and many other neurological disorders.
"There is an unmet need for better treatments for children with Angelman syndrome to help them live more fulfilling lives and help their families and life assistants. Our results show that the CBD could help the medical community to respond to this need safely. "
Ben Philpot, PhD, Kenan Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology and Associate Director of the UNC Neuroscience Center
CBD, which is a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, has already shown anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety and antipsychotic effects. And in 2018, the FDA has approved CBD for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy, but little is known about the potential anti-epileptic and behavioral effects of CBD on the symptoms of Angelman syndrome.
The Philpot lab is a forerunner in creating genetically engineered mouse models with neurodevelopmental disorders, and they use these models to identify new treatments for various diseases, such as Rett, Pitt-Hopkins and Angelman syndromes.
In experiments led by Dr. Bin Gu, PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers have systematically tested the beneficial effects of CBD on seizures, motor deficits, and abnormal brain activity. These data were measured by electroencephalogram in genetically modeled Angelman syndrome mice, in the hope that this information could guide potential clinical use.
The researchers found that a single dose of CBD significantly reduced the severity of seizures in mice when seizures were triggered experimentally by high body temperature or loud sounds. A typical dose of CBD anticonvulsant (100 mg / kg) caused mild sedation in mice, but had little effect on coordination or motor balance. CBD has also restored normal brain rhythms that are commonly altered in Angelman's syndrome.
"We are confident that our study provides the preclinical framework necessary to better guide the rational development of CBD as a therapy to reduce the seizures associated with Angelman syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders," said Dr. Bin Gu.
Philpot and Gu indicated that patients and families should always seek the advice of their doctor before taking any CBD product, and that a human clinical trial is necessary to fully understand its effectiveness and safety.