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The Subjective Effects of Psychedelics May Not Be Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects

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Abstract

Psychedelics represent one of the most promising classes of experimental medicines for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders due to their ability to promote neural plasticity and produce both rapid and sustained therapeutic effects following a single administration. Conventional wisdom holds that peak mystical experiences induced by psychedelics are a critical component of their therapeutic mechanisms of action, though evidence supporting that claim is largely correlational. Here, I present data suggesting that the subjective effects induced by psychedelics may not be necessary to produce long-lasting changes in mood and behavior. Understanding the role of subjective effects in the therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelics will have important implications for both basic neuroscience and for increasing patient access to the next generation of medicines developed as a result of psychedelic research.

Olson D. E. (2020). The Subjective Effects of Psychedelics May Not Be Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects. ACS pharmacology & translational science, 4(2), 563–567. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsptsci.0c00192

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