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Cannabis CBD Treatments Approved For Fragile X Syndrome

Medical Marijuana For Fragile X Has BioPharma Excited

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Wednesday Jul 19, 2017

Cannabis CBD Treatments Approved For Fragile X Syndrome



Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes different developmental problems, including cognitive impairment, learning and intellectual disabilities, and various physical conditions. Fragile X syndrome can occur in both genders although males are more commonly affected than women, and often with greater severity.



The symptoms of Fragile X syndrome in males differ from females. In general, the symptoms mimic the same behavioral characteristics of patients with autism, ADD/ADHD, social anxiety, poor eye contact, sensory disorders, and a higher risk for aggression. Both males and female patients with Fragile X syndrome suffer from mild to moderate learning disabilities, but males are more prone to severe intellectual disabilities.



Individuals who grow up with Fragile X syndrome will face numerous challenges in life that make it difficult to learn in school, land a good job, and maintain healthy relationships. Although Fragile X syndrome is considered rare, it’s estimated that around 1 in every 4,000 males and 1 in every 8,000 females have this condition.



Currently, there are no known medications or treatments that have been developed for Fragile X syndrome. Some treatments can help reduce the severity or frequency of the condition, but usually patients are recommended to go through school, participate in therapy services, and take certain medicines to improve their chances of overcoming the condition in their adult years. Early intervention is key for children who are born with Fragile X syndrome.


cannabis plants growing

How Cannabis Can Help


There are very few studies analyzing the use of cannabis and its efficacy in treating Fragile X syndrome symptoms, but the plant has shown to be promising. A study conducted by Dr. Daniele Piomelli and Olivier Manzoni as well as other researchers found that stimulating the production of an endocannabinoid transmitters in the brain called 2-AG, has the potential to repair brain function in animal models with Fragile X syndrome.



These transmitters are important for the transportation of electrical signals at the synapses in the brain, where information is passed among neurons. People with Fragile X syndrome suffer from limited regional synapse communication, which is what causes the behavioral and cognitive problems that they suffer from.



 The study involved the use of mice who were genetically altered with the FMR1 mutations that mimic the symptoms of Fragile X syndrome. They were administered with compounds meant to correct 2-AG protein signaling in their brain cells. After treatment, the mice exhibited significant improvements in behavior when they were made to go through maze tests, used to gauge their open-space acceptance and anxiety.



According to Piomelli, “What we hope is to one day increase the ability of people with Fragile X syndrome to socialize and engage in normal cognitive functions.” Piomelli also said that this is the first study of its kind to identify how endocannabinoids can play a role in improving the neurobiology of the condition.




biopharm fragile x cannabis

Biopharm Wants In


Zynerba, a biopharmaceutical company, has developed the first synthetic CBD treatment for Fragile X syndrome, as well as osteoarthritis and refractory epilepsy. The treatment, called ZYN002, is synthetic CBD in gel form designed for transdermal delivery for twice-daily dosing among patients who suffer from the said disorders. Zynerba developed this treatment to address the fact that there are currently no other medications made specifically to treat Fragile X syndrome, although it can also benefit other patients.



Drug manufacturers are having a difficult time creating medications made with cannabinoids sourced from the actual plant because of security measures and strict drug controls, as well as the current illegal status of the plant today.



Given this, it’s clear that real cannabis plants particularly strains that are high in CBD show significant promise in treating Fragile X syndrome – one of the rare conditions in the world that is difficult to treat and where there is still no accepted form of medication proven to treat it effectively. The findings of Manzoni and Piomelli’s study clearly shows that endocannabinoid functions are changed in patients of Fragile X syndrome, which can pave the way for development of cannabis-based therapy for this rare condition. Further research and studies are needed in this field, particularly using cannabis to help the individuals who have to live with this debilitating condition. 


Have you used cannabis to treat Fragile X syndrome?










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