Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Epilepsy


Friday, June 26, 2015



NYU Langone Medical Center 
550 First Avenue (31st st.) 
Alumni Hall, Farkas Auditorium 
New York, NY 10016 

Course Directors

Orrin Devinsky, MD 
Professor of Neurology 
NYU School of Medicine 
New York, NY 

Daniel Friedman, MD 
Assistant Professor of Neurology
NYU School of Medicine
New York, NY 

Updated Agenda

Register Online*

Register Via Fax*

*After 12pm on June 24, 2015, only onsite registration is available, provided the course has not reached capacity. Onsite registrants will incur an additional $20 fee. Registration is non-transferable.

Course Fees

Full Fee: $100
Reduced Fee**: $50
NYU Langone Faculty and Staff: $50 (must provide valid NYU Langone ID)
NYU Langone Residents and Fellows: Waived (must provide valid NYU Langone ID)

**Reduced fee applies to PhDs; physicians-in-training; healthcare professionals-in-training

Course Description

This one-day course will provide an update on the latest basic and clinical science on the use cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, and medical marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy. Recent anecdotal evidence and studies in animal models of the disease suggests that cannabinoids may be a promising therapy for epilepsy. Many states, including New York, have recently approved the use of cannabis and cannabis-based products for the treatment of many conditions, including seizures. Using a didactic format, we will review the pharmacology and neurobiology of cannabinoids with a special focus on mechanisms that may act on seizures. We will also review the pre-clinical and clinical evidence for efficacy. Finally, we will review the results of early experience of CBD and medical marijuana preparations for the treatment of severe pediatric epilepsy. Round-table discussions will focus on highlighting knowledge gaps and next steps forward for clinical investigation and practice.

Target Audience

The target audience includes neurologists, pediatricians, nurse practitioners and advance practice nurses who care for people with epilepsy. Other participants may include basic and clinical scientists who are interested in novel therapeutics for epilepsy as well as neuroscientists interested in cannabinoid signaling in the brain.

Accreditation Statement

The NYU Post-Graduate Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement

The NYU Post-Graduate Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Statement of Need

Epileptic seizures affect about one percent of the population. Left uncontrolled, they can lead to depression, cognitive decline and death. If seizures can be controlled, the chances of death drop away completely. Poor seizure control, as well as adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AED’s), affects quality of life among patients with epilepsy. Many patients require use of multiple medications, a situation that increases the treatment-associated side effect burden. Despite the multitude of AED’s currently available, there is still a need for medications with novel mechanisms of action that are effective and well tolerated. Current studies are looking at the anticonvulsant properties of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), a chemical found in cannabis and some other plants. This line of research was initiated by extensive anecdotal evidence that cannabinoids can be used to control human seizures. In animal studies, rats given CBD and CBDV experienced less severe seizures and lower mortality compared with animals given a placebo. The drug also had fewer side effects and was better tolerated than widely prescribed anticonvulsants. Researchers and clinicians need to understand the neurobiology of cannabinoid agents. Over 12 states, including New York and New Jersey, have legalized the use of cannabis, as “medical marijuana” for many conditions, including treatment-resistant epilepsy. Whether or not they are prescribers, many clinicians will be encountering patients and caregivers who are either using cannabis for symptomatic treatment or are interested in starting. 

Educational Objectives

After participating in this activity, clinicians should be able to:

  • Define the mechanisms of action of CBD and other cannabinoids
  • Convey to patients and caregivers the scientific evidence supporting cannabinoids for epilepsy treatment and potential risks and drug interactions associated with its use

Refund Policy

In order to request a refund, you must email no later than 14 days prior to the first day of the course. An administrative fee of $75 will be deducted from your refund. Cancellations or no-shows after this date are not eligible for a refund. Fax and email cancellations are not accepted.

Course Cancellation Policy

In the unusual circumstance that this course is cancelled, two weeks' notice will be given and tuition will be refunded in full. The NYU Post-Graduate Medical School is not responsible for any airfare, hotel or other costs incurred.