A Cannabinoid-Like Compound Modulates Neuronal Excitability, May Reduce Seizures

The Cannabinoid-Like Compound, VSN16R, Acts on Large Conductance, Ca2 -Activated K  Channels to Modulate Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neuron Firing

In Summary

Researchers have recently found a cannabinoid-like compound, VSN16R, which is able to modulate Ca2+– activated potassium channels and may reduce seizure severity. By hyperpolarizing the neurons through the opening of Ca2+– activated potassium channels VSN16R ultimately results in the reduction of hyperexcitability seen in individuals who suffer from seizures. The compiled data reveals that cannabinoids or compounds structurally similar to cannabinoids may prove useful in the treatment of seizures or epileptic disorders, similar to the cannabinol-based Epidiolex┬« medication for rare forms of epilepsy, reducing the chance of a seizure or minimizing its duration. Further research is needed to aid the development of more readily available cannabis-based therapies for seizure activity and more general forms of epilepsy. 

Highlighting in this article are the options for treatment that the endocannabinoid system provides us, even in the absence of naturally occurring cannabinoids. If structurally similar compounds like VSN16R are able to be synthesized and proven effective, it could mean novel therapies could be developed even while red tape surrounds cannabis. The endocannabinoid system affects a myriad of systems within the human body and is severely under-researched considering its potential. Epidiolex® is the only cannabinoid-based medication currently approved by the federal government but cannabis has shown promise in so many other areas where the current treatment is either ineffective or lacking. Research utilizing the endocannabinoid system as a target should continue and be pushed to the forefront of the medical community.

The study is available for review or download here

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Benjamin Caplan, MDA Cannabinoid-Like Compound Modulates Neuronal Excitability, May Reduce Seizures

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