Researchers Discover How Cannabidiol (CBD) Counters Epileptic SeizuresPosted by On

Hippocampus Brain Region Microscope Image

This microscope image of the brain region called the hippocampus shows the protein targeted by cannabis-derived CBD, GPR55 (red), and brain cells (blue) that send their extensions out to form the layers seen in the image. The interconnected nature of the hippocampus makes it a major site of for the initiation and spread of seizures. Credit: Tsien et al, Courtesy of Cell Press

Study findings suggest specific targets for future drugs.

A previously unknown way in which cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in cannabis, reduces seizures in many treatment-resistant forms of pediatric epilepsy has been revealed by a new scientific study.  

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study found that CBD blocked signals carried by a molecule called lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI). Found in brain cells called neurons, LPI is thought to amplify nerve signals as part of normal function, but can be hijacked by disease to promote seizures.

Published online on February 13 in the journal Neuron, the work confirmed a previous finding that CBD blocks the ability of LPI to amplify nerve signals in a brain region called the hippocampus. The current findings argue for the first time that LPI also weakens signals that counter seizures, further explaining the value of CBD treatment.   

“Our results deepen the field’s understanding of a central seizure-inducing mechanism, with many implications for the pursuit of new treatment approaches,” said corresponding author Richard W….

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