Epilepsy: Five new things

Technological advance has revolutionized epilepsy management recently. Herein, we review some recent developments. Perampanel (FDA-approved 2012) is a promising new class of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid)-antagonist anti-seizure therapy. Meanwhile, a millennia-old remedy for epilepsy, cannabis, is staging a comeback with recent legal and social permissiveness accelerating research into this use.

Therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in animal models of seizures, epilepsy, epileptogenesis, and epilepsy-related neuroprotection

The isolation and identification of the discrete plant cannabinoids in marijuana revived interest in analyzing historical therapeutic claims made for cannabis in clinical case studies and anecdotes. In particular, sources as old as the 11th and 15th centuries claimed efficacy for crude marijuana extracts in the treatment of convulsive disorders, prompting a particularly active area of preclinical research into the therapeutic potential of plant cannabinoids in epilepsy.

Substitution of medical cannabis for pharmaceutical agents for pain, anxiety, and sleep

A prior epidemiological study identified a reduction in opioid overdose deaths in US states that legalized medical cannabis (MC). The patient’s spouse, family, and other friends were more likely to know about their MC use than was their primary care provider. In conclusion, a majority of patients reported using less opioids as well as fewer medications to treat anxiety, migraines, and sleep after initiating MC.

Prescribing medical cannabis in Canada: Are we being too cautious?

There has been much recent discussion and debate surrounding cannabis in Canada, including the prescribing of medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Certain commentators – including the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – have denounced the prescribing of cannabis for medical purposes due to a perceived lack of evidence related to the drug’s efficacy, harms, and mechanism of action. In this commentary, we present arguments in favour of prescribing medical cannabis in Canada.

Cannabidiol as a suggested candidate for treatment of autism spectrum disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities and often intellectual disabilities. There is increasing interest in cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), as monotherapy or add-on treatment for the core symptoms and co-morbidities of ASD.

Cannabinoids: potential targets for bladder dysfunction

Cannabinoids are the active chemical components of Cannabis sativa (marijuana). The medical use of cannabis goes back over 5,000 years. Cannabinoids produce a very wide array of central and peripheral effects, some of which may have beneficial clinical applications. The discovery of cannabinoid receptors has spawned great interest within the pharmaceutical industry with the hopes of capitalizing on the beneficial effects of cannabis without the unwanted psychotropic effects on the central and peripheral nervous system.

Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation

The plant Cannabis sativa L. has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is the most important source of phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of receptors, endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and metabolizing enzymes, and plays an important role in different physiological and pathological processes. Phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can interact with the components of ECS or other cellular pathways and thus affect the development/progression of diseases, including cancer.

A review of oral cannabinoids and medical marijuana for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a focus on pharmacokinetic variability and pharmacodynamics

Oral cannabinoids (i.e., dronabinol, nabilone) containing the active component of marijuana, delta(Δ)9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are available for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients with cancer who have failed to adequately respond to conventional antiemetic therapy. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and safety of oral cannabinoids for patients with CINV.

Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain?

Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years. However, since the early part of the 20th century, laws restricting cannabis use have limited its evaluation using modern scientific criteria. Over the last decade, the situation has started to change because of the increased availability of cannabis in the United States for either medical or recreational purposes, making it important to provide the public with accurate information as to the effectiveness of the drug for joint pain among other indications.