OPEN Foundation

Day: 20 February 2018

The re-emergence of hallucinogenic research

Abstract

Due to the intractability, at times, in the treatment of PTSD, clinicians and researchers continue to explore different options for treatment. This article discusses the renewed interest in hallucinogens for such treatment.
Begola, M. J., & Dowben, J. S. (2018). The re‐emergence of hallucinogenic research. Perspectives in psychiatric care. 10.1111/ppc.12263
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Ketamine-Associated Brain Changes: A Review of the Neuroimaging Literature

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most prevalent conditions in psychiatry. Patients who do not respond to traditional monoaminergic antidepressant treatments have an especially difficult-to-treat type of MDD termed treatment-resistant depression. Subanesthetic doses of ketamine-a glutamatergic modulator-have shown great promise for rapidly treating patients with the most severe forms of depression. As such, ketamine represents a promising probe for understanding the pathophysiology of depression and treatment response. Through neuroimaging, ketamine’s mechanism may be elucidated in humans. Here, we review 47 articles of ketamine’s effects as revealed by neuroimaging studies. Some important brain areas emerge, especially the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, ketamine may decrease the ability to self-monitor, may increase emotional blunting, and may increase activity in reward processing. Further studies are needed, however, to elucidate ketamine’s mechanism of antidepressant action.
Ionescu, D. F., Felicione, J. M., Gosai, A., Cusin, C., Shin, P., Shapero, B. G., & Deckersbach, T. (2018). Ketamine-Associated Brain Changes: A Review of the Neuroimaging Literature. Harvard review of psychiatry. 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000179
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The re-emergence of hallucinogenic research

Abstract

Due to the intractability, at times, in the treatment of PTSD, clinicians and researchers continue to explore different options for treatment. This article discusses the renewed interest in hallucinogens for such treatment.
Begola, M. J., & Dowben, J. S. (2018). The re‐emergence of hallucinogenic research. Perspectives in psychiatric care. 10.1111/ppc.12263
Link to full text

Clinical interpretations of patient experience in a trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder

Abstract

After a hiatus of some 40 years, clinical research has resumed on the use of classic hallucinogens to treat addiction. Following completion of a small open-label feasibility study, we are currently conducting a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder. Although treatment effects cannot be analyzed until the study is complete, descriptive case studies provide a useful window into the therapeutic process of psychedelic-assisted treatment of addiction. Here we describe treatment trajectories of three participants in the ongoing trial to illustrate the range of experiences and persisting effects of psilocybin treatment. Although it is difficult to generalize from a few cases, several qualitative conclusions can be drawn from the data presented here. Although participants often find it difficult to describe much of their psilocybin experience, pivotal moments tend to be individualized, extremely vivid, and memorable. Often, the qualitative content extends beyond the clinical problem that is being addressed. The participants discussed in this paper experienced acute and lasting alterations in their perceptions of self, in the quality of their baseline consciousness, and in their relationship with alcohol and drinking. In these cases, experiences of catharsis, forgiveness, self-compassion, and love were at least as salient as classic mystical content. Finally, feelings of increased “spaciousness” or mindfulness, and increased control over choices and behavior were reported following the drug administration sessions. Ultimately, psilocybin-assisted treatment appears to elicit experiences that are extremely variable, yet seem to meet the particular needs of the individual.

Bogenschutz, M. P., Podrebarac, S. K., Duane, J. H., Amegadzie, S. S., Malone, T. C., Owens, L. T., … & Mennenga, S. E. (2018). Clinical interpretations of patient experience in a trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder. Frontiers in Pharmacology9, 100. 10.3389/fphar.2018.00100
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27 June - Spiritual & Existential Dimensions in Psychedelic Care: Challenges & Insights

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