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The psychedelic renaissance: the next trip for psychiatry?

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Abstract

The psychedelic research renaissance is gaining traction. Preliminary clinical studies of the hallucinogenic fungi, psilocybin, with psychological support, have indicated improvements in mood, anxiety and quality of life. A seminal, open-label study demonstrated marked reductions in depression symptoms in participants with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The associated neurobiological processes involve alterations in brain connectivity, together with altered amygdala and default mode network activity. At the cellular level, psychedelics promote synaptogenesis and neural plasticity. Prompted by the promising preliminary studies, a randomized, double-blind trial has recently been launched across Europe and North America to investigate the efficacy of psilocybin in TRD. One of these centres is based in Ireland – CHO Area 7 and Tallaght University Hospital. The outcome of this trial will determine whether psilocybin with psychological support will successfully translate into the psychiatric clinic for the benefit of patients.
Kelly, J. R., Baker, A., Babiker, M., Burke, L., Brennan, C., & O’Keane, V. (2019). The psychedelic renaissance: the next trip for psychiatry?. Irish journal of psychological medicine, 1-5., https://doi.org/10.1017/ipm.2019.39
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