Childhood Epilepsy: CBD Treatment of Intractable Epilepsy

Following the significantly high prevalence of childhood epilepsy within the present society, effective therapies and treatment are important for improving neurologic conditions among the affected children. The elongated subjection of infants and children to epileptic convulsions significantly affects the healthy growth, life quality and development of life. Multiple therapies are adopted within conventional medical practices for treatment and care for children with epilepsy. However, children affected with intractable epilepsy experience limited positive outcomes from conventional pharmacological and medical treatments.

Background Information on Childhood Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects individuals of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, and races. The central nervous system (CNS) reflects abnormal behavior, sensations, and reduced levels of consciousness. A seizure is characterized by the rapid and uncontrolled electrical disturbance within the central nervous system. This results from an abnormal discharge of cortical neurons leading to sudden changes in movements and general behaviour.

Epileptogenesis emanates from the changes in electrical structure and balance within the neurological transmission systems which attributes to the development of recurrent seizures. The high hypersynchronous electrical discharge of neurons within the CNS affects the balance between neurological excitation and brain inhibition, which results in a significant excitatory overload. The excitatory-inhibitory imbalance within the brain’s neurological structure attributes to the development of seizures, which can recur, often leading to epileptic neurological disorder (Rosenberg et al., 2015).

Epileptic Seizures

During epileptic seizures, affected individuals undergo rapid changes in body sensations, normal behaviour, and general awareness of their environments. The evolving research and interests in the applicability of cannabis within medical research and clinical settings are based on the capacity of cannabinoids to influence the treatment of various disorders. While multiple therapeutic effects on the physical and psychological health domains reflect the medicinal value of marijuana, physicians and medical practitioners have recommended and practised alternative healing perspectives through using marijuana. The normal usage of marijuana remains under legal, ethical, and social controversies where restrictions have been put in place by drug enforcement and drug abuse agencies.

From a broader perspective, childhood epilepsy manifests as either benign epilepsy or drug-resistant epilepsy. Benign epilepsy affects a large percentage of individuals within the general population. On the other hand, drug-resistant epilepsy poses higher health risks as it encompasses chronic forms of convulsions. These may include, idiopathic and genetic epileptic encephalopathies, as well as acquired epileptic syndromes (Friedman and Devinsky, 2015).

The primary aim of the current systematic review was to examine the medical influence of cannabidiol-based intervention on the treatment of intractable childhood epilepsy. Findings indicate the efficacy of cannabidiol in improving the treatment outcomes of children suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy. Multiple research studies and clinical trials report the positive influence of CBD-based treatment. They focus on the reduction of seizure activity and general improvement of life quality among young patients with intractable epilepsy.

Cannabidiol(CBD) Mechanism of Action on Childhood Epilepsy

From a broader perspective, CBD treats childhood epilepsy through active interactions with natural cannabinoid receptors such as the serotonin receptors [5-HT], opioid receptors [ORs], and non-endocannabinoid G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as well as ions channels and enzymes.
Neuroprotective attributes of CBD emerge from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thereby can help in improving neurological health status within medical practice.

The mechanism of action adopted by CBD focuses on the reduction of the convulsions and recurrence of epileptic seizures. The therapeutic properties of CBD rely on the endocannabinoid signaling systems. These further encapsulate the G protein, CB¬1, and CB2 endogenous receptors. They function to manage the metabolism neurological actions (Devinsky et al., 2017).

While most phytocannabinoid actions within the neurological systems are medicated by either CB¬1 and CB2 receptors. CBD reflects a low affinity for CB¬1 and CB2 receptors. Research identifies the cannabinoid receptor-independence of CBD significantly contributes to its anticonvulsant effects (Hill et al., 2012 ).
Through the anticonvulsant capacity of CBD as well as its therapeutic effects. CBD actively inhibits epileptiform activity within the neurological composure, thereby reducing the seizure frequency among individuals with childhood epilepsy. The CBD treatment mechanism emanates from the antagonizing action of CBB on GPR55 at neurological synapses (Devinsky et al., 2017; Kaplan et al., (2017))

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