Category Archives: Research

Psilocybin Can Treat OCD

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Psilocybin Can Treat OCD

BACKGROUND

Anecdotal reports suggest that psychedelic agents may relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This modified double-blind study investigated the safety, tolerability, and clinical effects of psilocybin, a potent 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist, in patients with OCD.

METHOD

Nine subjects with DSM-IV-defined OCD and no other current major psychiatric disorder participated in up to 4 single-dose exposures to psilocybin in doses ranging from sub-hallucinogenic to frankly hallucinogenic. Low (100 microg/kg), medium (200 microg/kg), and high (300 microg/kg) doses were assigned in that order, and a very low dose (25 microg/kg) was inserted randomly and in double-blind fashion at any time after the first dose. Testing days were separated by at least 1 week. Each session was conducted over an 8-hour period in a controlled environment in an outpatient clinic; subjects were then transferred to a psychiatric inpatient unit for overnight observation. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) and a visual analog scale measuring overall obsessive-compulsive symptom severity were administered at 0, 4, 8, and 24 hours post-ingestion. The Hallucinogen Rating Scale was administered at 8 hours, and vital signs were recorded at 0, 1, 4, 8, and 24 hours after ingestion. The study was conducted from November 2001 to November 2004.

RESULTSNine subjects were administered a total of 29 psilocybin doses. One subject experienced transient hypertension without relation to anxiety or somatic symptoms, but no other significant adverse effects were observed. Marked decreases in OCD symptoms of variable degrees were observed in all subjects during 1 or more of the testing sessions (23%-100% decrease in YBOCS score). Repeated-measures analysis of variance for all YBOCS values revealed a significant main effect of time on Wilks lambda (F = 9.86, df = 3,3; p = .046), but no significant effect of dose (F = 2.25, df = 3,3; p = .261) or interaction of time and dose (F = 0.923, df = 9,45; p = .515). Improvement generally lasted past the 24-hour timepoint.

CONCLUSIONSIn a controlled clinical environment, psilocybin was safely used in subjects with OCD and was associated with acute reductions in core OCD symptoms in several subjects.

Source

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First Controlled Study of LSD-assisted Psychotherapy in more than 40 Years!

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So what’s so special about this study?

Well for starters, it’s the FIRST successful study done on LSD-assisted psychotherapy since the 1970s…so that’s pretty awesome.

Also

It was a double-blind, randomized, active placebo-controlled pilot study conducted to examine safety and efficacy of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-assisted psychotherapy in 12 patients with anxiety associated with life-threatening diseases.

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Hey! Do You Want to get Involved in Psychedelic Research?

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I found this on the AMA Rick Doblin reddit page, and it’s very useful for those who want to get more involved in research or want to know more about it.  These are valuable contacts I will probably be hitting up soon…


As someone who has spent these past two weeks writing PhD applications, it’s been difficult to find programs that advertise their involvement in psychedelic research. […] Do you know of any programs that are doing particularly interesting work? […]

  •  Visiting PubMed is a big first step; you can see who is doing interesting work just from reading recent publications.

  •  For psilocybin; Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University continues to do studies of psilocybin. Matthew Johnson, also of Johns Hopkins University, has investigated the effects of salvia divinorum; not sure if he is continuing with that or not.

  •  Psilocybin research is also taking place at New York University, though they have not yet published findings.

  • Robin Carhart-Harris is conducting research at Imperial College, London on psilocybin. Carhart-Harris and D. Nutt have been involved in MDMA research, also with HV Curran. It is uncertain if this continues.

  •  Franz Vollenweider may be doing research with psilocybin at the University of Zurich (in Zurich, Switzerland).

  •  Harriet de Wit at the University of Chicago is doing MDMA research (it appears that this continues to do so.)

  •  Gillinder Bedi at Columbia University is conducting studies of MDMA (also cannabis / THC).

  •  Matthias Liechti and colleagues (often publishing under Hysek as first author) are conducting extensive studies of MDMA at the Unversity of Basel.

  •  Kim Kuypers, Johannes Ramaekers and colleagues are conducting MDMA research at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

  •  Michael Mithoefer is collaborating with Mark George and Colleen Hamlon at MUSC

Note that because funding is tight and fluctuates, all such programs are subject to change. You want to look for a department with neuroscience and a medical school, but the best way to track programs of research is to search PubMed or the internet using the substances or questions of interest to you.

 CIIS is starting a Certificate Program in Psychedelic Therapy, too!

 -Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist