Neonatal hypoxic ischemia encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition that occurs in infants where disruption of oxygenated blood to the brain causes brain damage. This is common in infants who suffer birth asphyxia due to multiple reasons and the most effective treatment currently available for HIE is therapeutic hypothermia. Here the brain of the infant is cooled down to reduce the spread of brain damage to avoid long-term negative effects like cerebral palsy. Scientific studies have shown that the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have the potential for treating neonatal HIE, read on to know more.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Before discussing how CBD is useful for treating neonatal HIE, we will investigate its therapeutic and medical effects. Cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant imparts its therapeutic effects by influencing the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and also helps with improved neurological functioning. So, it is useful for treating a wide variety of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.CBD’s neuroprotective effects also help with this.
How Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Useful For Treating Neonatal HIE?
One of the major CBD benefits is its neuroprotective effect, by minimizing damage due to oxidative stress. It also reduce neuroinflammation, and glutamate related excitotoxicity. Apart from this, administering CBD improves oxygenated cerebral blood flow and this also aids in the healing of damaged neurons.
The results from clinical studies are limited, so CBD as an option for treating HIE in babies has been approved for clinical trials. However, the studies conducted on piglets have shown that CBD is effective in treating HIE when coupled with therapeutic hypothermia. The takeaway from this research is that it was found that the window for recovery when using CBD is wider compared to using therapeutic hypothermia alone. However, it must be given within the first six hours of birth.
The Neuroprotective Effect Of Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD benefits of neuroprotection make it useful for healing damage caused to the neurons in the brain and the nervous system. Also, it reduces oxidative stress caused by ischemia and traumatic injuries and promotes the development or growth of new neurons. Besides, using it daily helps with reducing the progress of neurodegeneration and genetically influenced neurodegenerative diseases. It has been shown from studies that using CBD accelerates recovery from stroke, spinal cord injuries, and disease. Finally, the neuroprotective effect of CBD makes it effective in treating epilepsy. The FDA has approved the use of Epidiolex, a CBD derived drug for treating LGS and Dravet syndrome in children above the age of two years.
The potential for cannabidiol (CBD) for treating neonatal HIE looks promising and more research is required to better understand the effects.