Evaluation of the use of cannabidiol in the treatment of anxiety related disorders by assessing changes in neurotransmitter levels and expression of CREB/BDNF in the rodent brain.
Haripershad, Advaitaa Meera.
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Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders are common psychiatric disorders that are responsible for high disease burden. The pathogenesis of anxiety involves dysfunction in the limbic brain regions including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus. The current pharmacological treatments for anxiety target the modulation of the activity monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine and glutamate. These neurotransmitters are key in the regulation of the maladaptive responses of anxiety. Primary pharmacotherapies demonstrate limitations in drug efficacy as well as adverse side effects, highlighting the need for novel therapeutics for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the Cannabis sativa plant, has been considered a potential anxiolytic treatment as a result of its interaction in the endocannabinoid system, which regulates synaptic plasticity and neuronal activity implicated in the anxiety response. The therapeutic potential of CBD against neuropsychiatric disorders have been reported in preclinical and clinical studies. Since the global increase in cannabis legalization, there remains a need to supplement the available literature related to the neural effect of cannabis use on behavioural, neurochemical and biochemical changes. There are gaps in the knowledge of the pharmacokinetics and behavioural effects of CBD. This study will contribute to increasing the knowledge of the effect of cannabis on neurotransmitters and molecular changes in the brain. In this thesis, chapter 1 is a literature review focusing on the neurobiology and pharmacological treatments of anxiety, cannabidiol as a treatment for anxiety, and the neurotransmitters and genes implicated in anxiety. In addition to this, chapter 1 also reviews the theory of the experimental processes performed in this study. Chapter 2 is the publication “Evaluation of the use of cannabidiol in the treatment of anxiety related disorders by assessing changes in neurotransmitter levels and expression of CREB/BDNF in the rodent brain” submitted to The Journal of Neuroscience Research. Chapter 3 is the summary and conclusion of the thesis.