Psychedelics and Autism

Psychedelics and autism is one of the 'psychedelics and ...' topics that we're currently making a page for. At this moment you can find all papers (in our database) on this topic below.

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Our vision is that psychedelics can be used worldwide to better the lives of as many as 450 million people who suffer from mental health problems. Our information hopes to make that vision come to life just a little faster.

Autism Research

Here will be a narrative, readable, summary of the research.


In our literature study we came across the following studies of note. Browse the meta, review, commentary articles for an overview. Check out the individual studies for specific experiments and observations.

Registered clinical studies investigating psychedelic drugs for psychiatric disorders

2021 | Gill, H., Lipsitz, O., Lui, L. M. W., McIntyre, R. S., Rosenblat, J. D., Siegel, A. N., Teopiz, K. M.

This review (2021) summarizes the study characteristics of all ongoing registered clinical trials investigating psychedelic drugs for psychiatric disorders and identifies that their majority focuses on investigating MDMA and psilocybin for treating depression or PTSD, while only 30% of their results are published.

A Systematic Review of the MDMA Model to Address Social Impairment in Autism

2021 | Albrecht, M., Chaliha, D., Lam, V., Mamo, J. C., Takechi, R., Vaccarezza, M.

This systematic review (2021) examines whether MDMA can treat social impairments of autism, and draws supporting evidence from animal models which indicate MDMA-induced prosocial behaviors.

The use of psychedelic agents with autistic schizophrenic children

1971 | Aldrich, R. W., Mogar, R. E.

This review (1971) of 7 studies looked at the effect of psychedelics in autistic children (n=91). Psychedelics led to improved speech and mood, better emotional responsiveness, and decreased compulsive behaviour.

A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

2020 | Bathje, G. J., Chwyl, C., Davis, A. K., Lancelotta, R., Luoma, J. B.

This meta-analysis of nine placebo-controlled trials (n=211) showed a very large effect size (g=1.21) of treatment on four mental health conditions (PTSD, end-of-life anxiety, depression, social anxiety among autistic adults).

Discovery of G Protein-Biased Antagonists against 5-HT7R

2021| Cho, Y., Choo, H., Jeon, B., Keum, G., Kim, D., Kim, H., Kim, J., Kwang, R., Lee, H., Lee, J., Yeom, M.

This study explored the effects of a number of synthetic psychoactive drugs, such as the 2C-family, on the serotonin receptor 5-HT7R. The ability of a particular 2C compound to bind 5-HT7R over other subtypes and reduce self-grooming time in mice suggests that 5-HT7R could be a potential target for treating autism.

Systemic enhancement of serotonin signaling reverses social deficits in multiple mouse models for ASD

2021| Cardozo Pinto, D. F., Christoffel, D. J., Crabtree, G. R., Heifets, B. D., Llorach, P., Malenka, R. C., Salgado, J. S., Walsh, J. J., Wenderski, W.

This study in mice finds that MDMA (and a selective 5-HT1b receptor agonist) reverse social deficits through increased activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The authors argue that enhancement of 5-HT release or direct 5-HT1b receptor activation may help with treating sociability deficits commonly found in those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Embracing Neurodiversity in Psychedelic Science: A Mixed-Methods Inquiry into the MDMA Experiences of Autistic Adults

2019| Danforth, A. L.

This retrospective survey (n=100) and qualitative interview (n=24) study examined the MDMA experiences of autistic adults and identified that many of them viewed MDMA as a transformative healing catalyst for helping their anxieties of navigating through neurotypical social norms, while none of them expressed the desire for being neurotypical or reported being "cured" from autism.

Autistic Schizophrenic Children: An Experiment in the Use of D-Lysergic Acid Diethyladmide (LSD-25)

1977| Freedman, A. M.

This early study (1962; n=12) with LSD (50-200µg) on children with autism (ASD) and schizophrenia, of which 7 were mute, showed that LSD elicited large psychological changes in this population, but no change in muteness. Procedures for consent were different/non-existent at that time.

Reduction in social anxiety after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with autistic adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study

2018| Danforth, A. L., Emerson, A., Feduccia, A. A., Grob, C. S., Jerome, L., Struble, C., Walker, N., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized pilot study (n=12) found a significant reduction in social anxiety (d=1.4) after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (75-125mg, 2 sessions). The effects persisted even 6-months later (d=1.1).


This section compares the research with psychedelics to other therapies, medicines, or treatments.


This section highlights the various measures used and their use in research.


Who are the top researches in this area, the ones who have done the groundbreaking research.


What do we not know at this time? Where are the gaps in our knowledge and are we closing it?


The companies that are actively engaged in researching this topic or (planning to) provide therapy focussed on this topic.

Outside Academia

This section highlights everything done outside of academia, from popular press to books and non academic research.