Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine show that it can relieve seizures and regulate brain rhythms in Angelman syndrome, a rare neurological disease.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, research conducted using animal models of Angelman syndrome shows that CBD may help patients with this serious disease, which is characterized by intellectual disability, lack of ability to verbal expression, cerebral rhythm dysfunction 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 to support their families and caregivers. Our results show that CBD could help the medical community safely meet this need. "
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 previously shown anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety and antipsychotic effects. And in 2018, the FDA 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 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, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill systematically tested the beneficial effects of CBD on seizures, motor deficits, and abnormal brain activity. These data have measured by an electroencephalogram in mice genetically modeled with Angelman syndrome, in the hope that this information may guide potential clinical use.
Researchers found that a single intake of CBD dramatically decreased seizure severity in mice when the seizures were experimentally triggered 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 also restored normal brain rhythms that are commonly altered in Angelman syndrome.
"We are confident that our study provides the preclinical framework necessary to better guide the rational development of CBD as a therapy aimed at reducing seizures associated with Angelman syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders," said Dr. Bin Gu.
Philpot and Gu have indicated that patients and families should always seek the advice of their doctor before taking any CBD product, and that a clinical trial in humans is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and safety.