Researchers at Aston University have contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown way in which cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, can reduce seizures in many treatment-resistant forms of childhood epilepsy.
A group of international collaborators, led by scientists at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, including a team from the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment at Aston University, found that CBD blocked signals carried by a molecule called lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI).
LPI is found in our brain’s neurons and is thought to amplify nerve signals as part of normal function but can be hijacked by some epilepsies to promote seizures.
The study, published in the journal Neuron, expanded on previous findings showing that CBD blocks the ability of the molecule LPI to amplify nerve signals in a brain region called the hippocampus.
The current study argues that, for the first time, the molecule also weakens signals that counter seizures, further explaining the value of CBD treatment and the generation of seizure activity in epileptic people.
As part of the research group, the Aston University team used a leading model of epilepsy, developed by Professor Gavin Woodhall, to perform recordings of electrical signals in brain cells taken from epileptic rodents, some of which had been treated with CBD. By doing this, they were able to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms by which CBD acts to prevent seizure activity in…
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