A study conducted by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine has highlighted the use of cannabidiol for epileptic seizures. Cannabidiol, a commonly found compound in Cannabis, is effective in addressing treatment-resistant epilepsy in children or newborns. During this study, the researchers found out that Cannabidiol can antagonize the actions of lysophosphatidylinositol or LPI which is commonly found in neurons. In the brain, lysophosphatidylinositol generally acts in amplifying the signals sent across through neurons, which generally elevates the sensation capabilities of the brain. But any disease or illness can easily manipulate lysophosphatidylinositol to become active and amplify neural signals without any need, thus inducing seizures. Cannabidiol prevents these accidentally triggered LPI signals, thus eliminating the seizure situation.
The involvement of LPI in inducing epileptic seizures was previously known. Most of the available treatment options against epileptic seizures targeted LPI to get rid of seizures. But the findings of the study also showed that LPI can act against the counter treatments given for epileptic seizures, thus making the treatment less effective. But CBD or Cannabidiol showed that it can not only prevent the signals sent out by LPI but can also prevent its ability to counter the treatment given to the patient to treat their seizures. This single fact is enough to highlight the effectiveness of CBD in treating pediatric epilepsy, as it actively and completely blocks LPI.
The researchers used their understanding of LPI and its contribution to inducing seizures in the central nervous system. The hippocampus, present within the temporal lobe of the brain, is one of the core parts of the central nervous system. It is responsible for the management of various crucial functions such as learning, memory encoding, memory consolidation, and spatial navigation. Epileptic seizures occur in the Hippocampus through LPI. LPI potentially sends signals to Hippocampus, signaling fake neural actions, resulting in seizures. Based on this mechanism, researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine found the effectiveness of CBD. Richard W. Tsien, one of the authors and the chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, said that the results of their study are based on a central seizure-inducing mechanism, which can provide many new treatment options against epileptic seizures. He further highlighted the massive changes which CBD can bring in treating seizures induced by LPI.
The neural structures and the mechanism of how they transfer signals throughout this neural network were the important basis for this study. Each neuron is separated from another neuron with a certain space, known as the synaptic cleft. The synaptic cleft serves as a space where one neuron releases neurotransmitters for another neuron to catch them and understand the pulse. These neurotransmitters manage the excitation of neurons or the inhibition of neurons, which starts and ends any action, respectively. Seizures are related to the overexpression of excitation action, which causes the body to twitch or respond abnormally, which are called seizures. Lysophosphatidylinositol is an endocannabinoid neurotransmitter that causes the excitation of neurons. Thus, CBD or Cannabidiol has few structural similarities, which allows it to prevent the action of LPI and eliminate the seizure.