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2014

Pediatric Epilepsies Awards

Mechanism Of Anti-Epileptic Action Of Cannabidiol In A Mouse Model Of Dravet Syndrome

Ruth Westenbroek, PhD - William Catterall, PhD
University of Washington
 

Life-threatening pediatric epilepsies such as Dravet Syndrome (DS) are unresponsive to standard therapies. Marijuana could have therapeutic benefit but some evidence suggests the psychoactive component, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol, might cause cognitive and behavioral toxicity in children. Animal and human studies suggest that the nonpsychoactive compounds cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) are responsible for the antiepileptic effects of marijuana; however, little is known about the how CBD/CBDV function. We will study the effects of CBD/CBDV on seizures, premature death, and cognitive deficits in a well-validated mouse genetic model of DS, and we will determine the process responsible for their therapeutic effects.

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