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Cannabidiol as a treatment for epilepsy

Pickrell, William O. and Robertson, Neil P. ORCID: 2017. Cannabidiol as a treatment for epilepsy. Journal of Neurology 264 (12) , pp. 2506-2508. 10.1007/s00415-017-8663-0

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Despite an increasing number of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), the proportion of drug-resistant cases of epilepsy has remained fairly static at around 30% and the search for new and improved AEDs continues. Cannabis has been used as a medical treatment for epilepsy for thousands of years; it contains many active compounds, the most important being tetrahydrocannabinol, which has psychoactive properties, and cannabidiol, which does not. Animal models and clinical data to date have suggested that cannabidiol is more useful in treating epilepsy; there is limited evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol has some pro-convulsant effects in animal models. The mechanism by which cannabidiol exerts its anti-convulsant properties is currently unclear. This month’s journal club reviews three papers using cannabidiol for the treatment of epilepsy. The first paper describes a small case series where cannabidiol is used in a rare pediatric epilepsy syndrome, febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES); the second paper is a larger open label study of cannabidiol in a variety of refractory epilepsies and the third paper describes a randomized control trial of cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0340-5354
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 December 2017
Date of Acceptance: 28 August 2017
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:19

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