Article published by LYU Langone Health
A study reveals a previously unknown way in which cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in cannabis, reduces seizures in many treatment-resistant forms of pediatric epilepsy.
Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the new 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 February 13 in 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,” says corresponding author Richard W. Tsien, PhD, chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at NYU Langone Health.
“The study also clarified, not just how CBD counters seizures, but more broadly how circuits are balanced in the brain,” adds Dr. Tsien, also director of NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute. “Related imbalances are present in autism and schizophrenia, so the paper may have a broader impact.”