Photoswitchable cannabinoids for precision treatment of refractory focal epileptic seizures

Project Details


Photopharmacology is a highly novel approach in the field of neurosciences and has never been adopted with the aim to treat epileptic seizures. It allows precise spatiotemporal intervention by combining smart drug design with implantation of an optic fiber in the seizure focus. Photopharmacology might become superior to opto- and chemogenetics because it does not require genetic engineering of the brain tissue. We here propose a pioneering proof-of-principle study in mice for the application of photoswitchable cannabinoids for treating focal epilepsies. The choice for cannabinoids as treatment option is based on the rising evidence that cannabinoids can combat treatment-resistant epilepsies and because we have access to exclusive and potent
photoswitchable cannabinoids. We will use in vitro electrophysiology in slices combined with in vivo investigations towards the anticonvulsant effects of the photoswitchable cannabinoids in acute mouse seizure models and in a well-validated epilepsy model for refractory seizures. Moreover, we hypothesize that these photoswitchable ligands have a reduced side effect profile and will study their effects on motor and memory function.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/22

Flemish discipline codes

  • Neurological and neuromuscular diseases


  • epilepsie