Depression, characterized by profound sadness, fatigue, altered sleep and appetite, and feelings of guilt or low self-worth, is the most common form of mental illness in the world. It is typically treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, some people do not respond to conventional therapies for depression. Psilocybin is emerging as a potential therapy for treatment-resistant depression, demonstrating efficacy in a recent small study in the UK. In this clip, Dr. Roland Griffiths describes new findings that suggest psilocybin may be useful in managing the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression.
But to get back to the whole question about psilocybin and depression, that's another area that we're interested in. A group from the UK published this summer uncontrolled pilot study in, I think, it was 15 volunteers with treatment-resistant depression in which they gave psilocybin. And they showed large effects and sustained effects out to at least a couple of months. And so we actually now have a proposal in front of the FDA as we speak and are going to launch a trial next year to look at treatment-resistant depression as a target.
And so in addition to this depression anxiety syndrome associated with life-threatening illness, we think that that's an interesting target and it remains to be seen what happens.
Rhonda: Yeah, that's fantastic.
A mood disorder characterized by profound sadness, fatigue, altered sleep and appetite, as well as feelings of guilt or low self-worth. Depression is often accompanied by perturbations in metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. A critical element in the pathophysiology of depression is inflammation. As a result, elevated biomarkers of inflammation, including the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, are commonly observed in depressed people. Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapy typically form the first line of treatment for people who have depression, several non-pharmacological adjunct therapies have demonstrated effectiveness in modulating depressive symptoms, including exercise, dietary modification (especially interventions that capitalize on circadian rhythms), meditation, sauna use, and light therapy, among others.
A naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. As a prodrug, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects including euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual experiences, and can include possible adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks.
A class of hallucinogenic substances whose primary action is to alter cognition and perception, typically as serotonin receptor agonists, causing thought and visual/auditory changes, and "heightened state of consciousness." Major psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. Psychedelics have a long history of traditional use in medicine and religion, for their perceived ability to promote physical and mental healing.
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