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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.
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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.
Psilocybin in end of life care: Implications for further research
2021 | Summergrad, P.
This commentary (2016) examines the study design and the outcome measures of two randomized controlled studies that used psilocybin to treat mood and anxiety in patients undergoing palliative care. It can be concluded that the experiences of salience, meaningfulness, and healing that accompany the powerful spiritual experiences elicited by psilocybin, mediate the antidepressant and anxiolytic outcomes measures. Future investigations may investigate these phenomena in their own right, as well as replicate these findings in diverse clinical populations that aim to implement more robust blinding measures.
The fibrinolytic system: A new target for treatment of depression with psychedelics
2017 | Florova, G., Girard, R. B. S., Idell, S., Idell, R. D., Komissarov, A. A., Shetty, S.
This hypothesis-building article (2017) proposes that psychedelics such as psilocybin and ketamine exert antidepressant effects by restoring balance to the fibrinolytic system, a network of enzymes in the bloodstream that prevent blood clots from growing and reopen vessels closed by thrombosis. The authors postulate that psilocybin decreases coagulation promoting factors, neuroinflammation, and fibrin deposition in the brain, and restores the 5-HT2a receptor to pre-stress levels.
Administration of ketamine for unipolar and bipolar depression
2017 | Bartova, L., Carlberg, L., Gryglewski, G., Kasper, S., Kraus, C., Lanzenberger, R., Papageorgiou, K., Popovic, A., Rabl, U., Rybakowski, J. K., Spies, M., Vanicek, T., Willeit, M., Winkler, D.
This review (2017) examined clinical trials that investigated the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine for unipolar (MDD) and bipolar depression (BD). Results indicate that intravenous and intranasal ketamine produces strong reductions of depressive symptoms within a short period and with response rates up to 88%, however, depressive relapse occurs in up to 90% of patients within 2 weeks after treatment.
Psychedelic science in post-COVID-19 psychiatry
2020 | Alexander, L., Baker, A., Brennan, C., Burke, L., Crockett, M. T., Haran, M., Kelly, J. R., O’Keane, V.
This commentary (2020) examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the trajectory of clinical trials investigating psilocybin-treatment for a wide range of conditions, some of which are likely to become even more prevalent in post-COVID-19 clinical psychiatry. Although many of these clinical trials have been temporarily stagnant due to safety measures, ongoing efforts from large scale clinical studies of psilocybin will provide valuable information on its safety, dose optimization, and its efficacy compared to a conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and additional studies will elucidate whether it is safe to combine them with psilocybin therapy.
Evaluating the Risk of Psilocybin for the Treatment of Bipolar Depression: A Systematic Review of Published Case Studies
2021 | Adams, C., Bradley, E. R., DellaCrosse, M., Gallenstein, M. L., Gard, D. E., Garfinkle, E., Michalak, E. E., Penn, A., Pleet, M. M., Riley, L. S., Woolley, J. D.
This review (2021; pre-print) finds that in the current literature there are some known, but limited, risks of activating mania with psilocybin for those with bipolar depression (BD). The review describes 15 cases of BD and the use of a range of psychedelics.
Oral ketamine for the treatment of pain and treatment-resistant depression
2016 | aan Het Rot, R., Balukova, S. M., Chaves, T. V., Kortekaas, R., Schoevers, R. A.
The meta-analysis (2016) examined the antidepressant effects of ketamine in specific regard to its oral administration route. In terms of safety, oral ketamine administration over longer time periods appears to be well-tolerated, but its long-term negative side-effects and the strength of its antidepressant efficacy remain understudied.
NMDAR inhibition-independent antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites
2016 | Albuquerque, E. X., Alkondon, M., Dossou, K. S. S., Elmer, G. I., Fang, Y., Fischell, J., Georgiou, P., Gould, T. D., Huang, X., Mayo, C. L., Moaddel, P. J., Morris, P. J., Pribut, H. J., Singh, N. S., Thompson, S. M., Thomas, C. J., Wainer, I. W., Yuan, P., Zanos, P., Zarate, C. A.
This review highlights findings from animal studies that examined whether a ketamine-metabolite (HNK) with fewer side effects is sufficient to induce antidepressant effects, as measured via behavioral, electroencephalographic, electrophysiological, and cellular measures which compared it to the effects of ketamine in mice. Results indicated that the metabolite can exert antidepressant effects through early activation of glutaminergic AMPA-receptors, independent of NMDA receptor inhibition that is typically induced by ketamine.
Clinical trials for rapid changes in suicidal ideation: Lessons from ketamine
2021 | Ballard, E. D., Farmer, C. A., Fields, J., Zarate, C. A.
This review (2021) examines methodological innovations within clinical trials investigating ketamine as a rapid-acting treatment option for depression or suicidal ideation (SI). The authors emphasize that the fast-acting dynamic of this treatment will enable the next generation of clinical trial designs to focus more on the development of better psychometric instruments, and more reliable biomarkers for assessing the efficacy of suicidal ideation treatment.
Indole Alkaloids from Plants as Potential Leads for Antidepressant Drugs: A Mini Review
2017 | Hamid, H. A., Ramli, A. N. M., Yusoff, M. M.
This review (2017) discusses bioactive compounds containing the indole moiety (half/part of a molecule) from plants that can potentially serve as antidepressive medication due to its relation to serotonin.
Ketamine and other N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists in the treatment of depression: a perspective review
2015 | Ballard, E. D., Ladarola, N. D., Lundin, N. B., Machado-Vieira, R., Niciu, M. J., Nugent, A. C., Richards, E. M., Vande Voort, J. L., Zarate, C. A.
This review (2014) examines ketamine as a prospective treatment option for patients with depression and provides an overview of its role within the glutamate system, its antidepressant mechanisms of action, safety profile, and evidence from clinical studies that investigated the efficacy of single or multiple infusions. Furthermore, it compares alternative modes of ketamine administration and highlights fundamental research on other types of NMDA agonists that may have less psychotomimetic effects.
The neurobiology of depression, ketamine and rapid-acting antidepressants: Is it glutamate inhibition or activation?
2018 | Abdallah, C. G., Duman, R. S., Krystal, J. H., Sanacora, G.
This review (2018) examines the neurobiology of depression in light of the rapid fast-acting antidepressant properties of ketamine, with particular regard for the role of inhibitory and excitatory glutamate transmission. It is evident that the primary mechanism of ketamine is the induction of transient (minutes-to-hours) postsynaptic glutamate activation, which ultimately leads to a sustained (days-to-weeks) increase in synaptic formation and strength in the prefrontal cortex. However, it is unclear whether ketamine's effects on glutaminergic inhibition via extrasynaptic NMDA) receptors exert rapid or even slow antidepressant effects.
A Dendrite-Focused Framework for Understanding the Actions of Ketamine and Psychedelics
2021 | Kwan, A. C., Savalia, N., Shao, L-X,
This opinion article (2021) postulates that ketamine and psychedelics substances enact their rapid fast-acting antidepressant effects by means of promoting neuroplasticity in a heterogeneous manner, by enhancing or suppressing dendritic excitability across different parts of the cellular membrane. Although precise measurements of this pharmacological effect across the entire dendritic tree are currently still lacking, the authors hypothesize that the spatial mismatches in the opposing effects of these drugs drive neuroplasticity at specific dendritic hotspots, depending on the microcircuitry of their respective target neurons.
Targeting glutamate signalling in depression: progress and prospects
2021 | Abdallah, C. G., Mathew, S. J., Murrough, J. W.
This review (2017) examines the history, rationale, and efficacy of glutamate-modulating agents in treating depression. Ketamine has emerged as the prototypical fast-acting antidepressant and has yielded compelling hypotheses about the role of glutamate, although the role of its effects on NMDA receptor inhibition still remains unclear as to whether it alleviates depression. Preliminary evidence also suggests that ketamine-like drugs exert antidepressant properties by regulating monoamine signaling, opioid signaling, inflammatory systems, or even epigenetic mechanisms.
Glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid systems in the pathophysiology of major depression and antidepressant response to ketamine
2016 | Ballard, E. D., Lener, M. S., Niciu, M. J., Nugent, A. C., Park, L. T., Park, M., Zarate, C. A.
This review (2017) examines ketamine's rapid antidepressant efficacy with respect to evidence that it can neurochemical/physiological disturbances, such as abnormalities in excitatory and/or inhibitory neurotransmission in association with altered brain levels of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid. It highlights neuroimaging studies to support the notion that glutamatergic modulation may be a viable biomarker for investigating depression in future studies.
The Efficacy of Ketamine in the Palliative Care Setting: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature
2019 | Frankenthaler, M., Goldman, N., Klepacz, L.
This comprehensive review (2019) compared the efficacy of ketamine treatment for pain and depression within palliative care across administration route and dosing regimen. Efficacy of pain treatment exhibited generally inconclusive and mixed results, but studies that administered ketamine either epidurally or intrathecally demonstrated significant analgesia, in contrast, to subcutaneously or intravenous administration routes. Depression was improved across all relevant studies and was sustained the longest during a daily dosing regimen, whereas a single or a multidose did not exert effects beyond 7 days after administration.
Potential involvement of serotonergic signaling in ketamine’s antidepressant actions: A critical review
2016 | Dale, E., du Jardin, K. G., Elfving, B., Müller, H. K., Sanchez, C., Wegener, G.
This review (2016) examines a number of preclinical reports which suggest that serotonergic neurotransmission could play an important role in ketamine's antidepressant-like activity. The authors hypothesize that ketamine may alleviate depression by increasing serotonin levels in the prefrontal cortex NMDA receptor inhibition and activation of AMPA glutamate receptors. Preclinical animal studies indicate that ketamine may also have an affinity towards serotonergic receptors, including the 5-HT2A receptor, in addition to glutamatergic neurotransmission.
Efficacy and safety of ketamine in bipolar depression: A systematic review
2017 | Alberich, S., González-Pinto, A., López, P., Martínez-Cengotitabengoa, M., Nuñez, N. A., Vieta, E., Zorrilla, I.
This review (2017) compared the safety and efficacy of ketamine for bipolar depression across scientific studies (1 clinical trial, 4 case studies, 5 cohort studies), which showed that symptoms are reduced swiftly and effectively in response to treatment, but they reappear relatively quickly within 3-14 days depending on the scale used to measure symptoms. Ketamine may be considered safe and effective for treating some cases of bipolar depression, although it has a short duration of action, in the absence of confirming studies designed specifically for bipolar depression.
Is ketamine an appropriate alternative to ECT for patients with treatment resistant depression? A systematic review
2020 | Kamphuis, J., Schoevers, R. A., Smith-Apeldoorn, S. Y., Spaans, H., Veraart, J. K. E.
This review (2020; 6 studies) compares ketamine with ECT as treatments for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The authors preliminarily conclude that ketamine may show effects faster, but these effects seem to be less durable.
Treating Addiction: Perspectives from EEG and Imaging Studies on Psychedelics
2016 | de Araujo, D. B., Tófoli, L.F.
This book chapter (2016) reviews the evidence regarding the effects of psychedelics on the brain and their potential as treatments for psychiatric and addictive disorders.
Clinical and biological predictors of psychedelic response in the treatment of psychiatric and addictive disorders: a systematic review
2021 | Benyamina, A., Hermand, M., Karila, L., Pétillion, A., Romeo, B.
This systematic review (2021) of studies from 1990 to 2020 aimed to determine factors that can predict successful response to psychedelic treatment. In a variety of disorders, the authors found that the intensity of the experience was the best such predictor.
Rapid‐acting antidepressant ketamine, its metabolites and other candidates: A historical overview and future perspective
2019 | Hashimoto, K.
This historic review (2019) examines cellular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of the R(-) and S(+) ketamine enantiomers and their norketamine and hydroxynorketamine metabolites. Although S(+) ketamine exhibits greater affinity to the NMDAR, which is believed to be the mediator of its antidepressant effect, preclinical evidence from animal models suggests that (R)‐ketamine exerts greater potency and longer‐lasting antidepressant effects with less detrimental side‐effects. Given that the phase I clinical studies on R(-)ketamine and hydroxynorketamine are now underway, future studies will be able to perform a direct comparison of their efficacy to treat patients with depression.
Nonanesthetic Effects of Ketamine: A Review Article
2018 | Blaise, G., Eldufani, J., Nekoui, A.
This review (2018) examines (preliminary) evidence of the medical benefits of the non-anesthetic effects of ketamine, as well as supporting evidence of the effectiveness and tolerability of ketamine for improving pain conditions, depression, memory function in Alzheimer's disease, and brain damage after stroke. It also examines underlying mechanisms that exert these effects by stimulating or blocking certain neuroreceptor pathways.
Mechanisms of ketamine action as an antidepressant
2018 | Gould, T. D., Zanos, P.
This review (2018) examines the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of ketamine. Whereas previous presumed that NMDA receptor inhibition is the principal mechanism, new evidence suggests that additional receptor-pathways that are specific to its downstream metabolite hydroxynorketamine are sufficient to improve depression (in animal studies) without blocking NMDA.
Time is of the essence: Coupling sleep-wake and circadian neurobiology to the antidepressant effects of ketamine
2020 | Alitalo, O., Kohtala, S., Rantamäki, T., Rosenholm, M., Rozov, S.
This theory-building paper (2020) proposes that the circadian rhythm may be an important factor in the antidepressant effect of ketamine therapies.
Synthesizing the Evidence for Ketamine and Esketamine in Treatment-Resistant Depression: An International Expert Opinion on the Available Evidence and Implementation
2021 | Berk, M., Brietzke, E., Dodd ,S., Gorwood, P., Ho, R., Iosifescu, D. V., Jaramillo, C. L., Kasper, S., Kratiuk, K., Lee, J. G., Lee, Y., Lui, L. M. W., Mansur, R. B., McIntyre, R. S., Murrough, J. W., Nemeroff, C. B., Papakostas, G. I., Rosenblat, J. D., Sanacora, G., Stahl, S., Subramaniapillai, M., Thase, M., Vieta, E., Young, A. H., Zarate, C. A.
This study (2021), written by a large group of international experts, reviews the state of knowledge around ketamine and esketamine as potential treatments for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Special attention is given to the risk of suicide after discontinuing (es)ketamine treatment.
Hallucinogenic/psychedelic 5HT2A receptor agonists as rapid antidepressant therapeutics: Evidence and mechanisms of action
2021 | Baker, G., Dos Santos, R. G., Dursun, S., Hallak, J. E.
This review (2021) summarizes the available evidence regarding the potential of LSD, psilocybin, and ayahuasca as rapidly effective antidepressant therapies. Results are promising but still limited.
Ketamine-Associated Brain Changes: A Review of the Neuroimaging Literature
2018 | Cusin, C., Deckersbach, T., Felicione, J. M., Gosai, A., Ionescu, D. F., Shapero, B. G., Shin, P.
This review (2018) examines the neural correlates of ketamine-associated brain changes in patients with depression. Although ketamine affects different areas of the brain in various ways, its most notable effects were found in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus. Ketamine affects emotional blunting, which may be associated with reduced limbic responses to emotional stimuli, and increase neural activity in reward processing. It also reduces brain activation in regions, such as the Default Mode Network (DMN), associated with self-monitoring, which may be linked to its dissociative effects.
Classical hallucinogens as antidepressants? A review of pharmacodynamics and putative clinical roles
2014 | Barnes, G., Baumeister, D., Giaroli, G., Tracy, D.
This review (2014) examines the effects of psychedelic drugs with regard to their pharmacodynamics and molecular biology, their electrophysiological and neuroimaging profile, and summarizes the evidence for potential therapeutic mechanisms of action, including effects on neurogenesis, cortical networks, and the immune system. It also examines the clinical profile of psychedelic substances with regard to risks for healthy individuals, as well as the potential to treat clinical conditions such as depression, notwithstanding the criminalized status of psychedelics, despite negligible risk and a lack of evidence for its alleged adverse effects.
Ketamine as the prototype glutamatergic antidepressant: pharmacodynamic actions, and a systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy
2013 | Caddy, C., Giaroli, G., Shergill, S. S., Tracy, D., White, T. P.
This systematic review and meta-analysis (2013, n=629) analyzed data from all trials investigating the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine up to publication date, and provides a systematic overview of its neurobiological and pharmacodynamic profile. The vast majority of the studies showed that ketamine infusion rapid antidepressant response, and an independent rapid antisuicidal effect.
Ketamine as a promising prototype for a new generation of rapid-acting antidepressants
2015 | Abdallah, C. G., Averill, L. A., Krystal, J. H.
This review (2015) summarizes the clinical effects of ketamine and its neurobiological underpinnings and mechanisms of action that may provide insight into the neurobiology of depression, relevant biomarkers, and treatment targets, and directions for future research.
Do the dissociative side effects of ketamine mediate its antidepressant effects?
2014 | Brutsche, N. E., Guevara, S., Ionescu, D. F., Luckenbaugh, D. A., Niciu, M. J., Nolan, N. M., Richards, E. M., Zarate, C. A.
This meta-analysis (n=108) examined whether the rapid antidepressant effect of a single subanesthetic ketamine (35mg/70kg) infusion is mediated by its dissociative side-effects or other symptoms related to its psychotomimetic profile. The analysis revealed that its dissociative effect was the only mediator that predicted a robust and sustained antidepressant efficacy.
Ketamine Users Have High Rates of Psychosis and/or Depression
This meta-analysis (n=129) evaluated the relation between long-term treatment with ketamine and the frequency of psychotic and mood disorders, amongst patients located in Hong Kong, China. According to standardized diagnostic criteria, psychosis and/or depression were very common amongst these patients, which raises the issue of safety when considering ketamine for long-term treatment of depression.
The use of ketamine as an antidepressant: a systematic review and meta-analysis
2015 | Coyle, C. M., Laws, K. R.
This meta-analysis (2015; n=437) examined the antidepressant effects of ketamine, with regard to its efficacy over short and long-term periods, across single or repeated infusions, moderating variables related to the experimental design, and efficacy amongst patients with depression (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD). Results conveyed that ketamine is an effective and rapid treatment for depression in the short term, with large antidepressant effects emerging after 4 hours and lasting up to 2 weeks post-infusion in participants with a primary diagnosis of MDD or BD. Repeated infusion showed larger effect sizes but did not extend the duration of antidepressant effect.
Intranasal drug delivery in neuropsychiatry: focus on intranasal ketamine for refractory depression
2015 | Andrade, C.
This article (2015) examines the advantages and applications of intranasal drug delivery, with a particular focus on the potential of intranasal ketamine for the acute and maintenance therapy of refractory depression. The article contrasts intranasal delivery to oral and sublingual delivery methods, which are less effective with regards to their bioavailability, crossing of the blood-brain-barrier, and rapid onset of drug effects.
Integrating psychotherapy and psychopharmacology: psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and other combined treatments
2020 | Feduccia, A. A., Garel, N., Greenway, K. T., Jerome, L.
This meta-review (2020) examines the therapeutic frameworks surrounding contemporary practices of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, with regard to the historic development of therapeutic models and contemporary insights into extra-pharmacological factors and underlying mechanisms. They highlight that these therapies entail greater environmental sensitivity from the patient's perspective, which requires more meticulous attention for the preparation of the set and setting, a considerably resource-intensive endeavor.
Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression: recent developments and clinical applications
2016 | Iosifescu, D. V., Murrough, J. W., Schwartz, J.
This clinical review (2016) examines the fasting-acting effects of ketamine for alleviating symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD), with regard to its administration method, its safety profile, and its general effects on suicidal ideation, anhedonia, cognition. It also examines which patient profiles predict the most effective response duration while highlighting that the manifestation of depressive symptoms make it challenging to predict the efficacy of ketamine, and although further research is underway to elucidate the role of genetic, central neurobiological, and peripheral measures, it is still too early to recommend their adoption in clinical practice.
Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Unipolar and Bipolar Major Depression: Critical Review and Implications for Clinical Practice
2016 | Bobo, W. V., Croarkin, P. E., Frye, M. A., Leung, J. G., Tye, S. J., Vande Voort, J. L.
This review (2016) examines the clinical efficacy of ketamine as fast-acting pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (BP), in light of the available evidence. In the authors' view, there is insufficient empirical support for the early adoption of ketamine into routine practice, given the lack of data on the longer-term safety of ketamine as an antidepressant therapy, which will require the development of clinical protocols with standardized screening, clinical phenotyping, and follow-up procedures.
Ketamine: A Paradigm Shift for Depression Research and Treatment
2019 | Abdallah, C. G., Charney, D. S., Duman, R. S., Krystal, J. H., Sanacora, G.
This review and perspective paper (2019) gives a high-level overview of what we know about ketamine's effects and how it has changed our perspective on (the treatment of) depression.
Ketamine: A tale of two enantiomers
2020 | Jelen, L. A., Stone, J. M., Young, A. H.
This review (2020) summarizes the clinical findings of ketamine as a treatment for depression, and discusses the differences between (S)-ketamine and (R)-ketamine.
From Hofmann to the Haight Ashbury, and into the Future: The Past and Potential of Lysergic Acid Diethlyamide
2014 | Dickerson Davidson, L., Raswyck, G. E., Smith, D. E.
This review (2014) summarises the history of LSD research and outlines the potential applications in the future.
Psilocybin-assisted therapy of major depressive disorder using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a therapeutic frame
2020 | Guss, J., Krause, R., Reed, S., Skinta, M. D., Sloshower, J. A., Wallace, R. M., Williams, M. T.
This theory-building paper (2020) argues for the synergy between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and psilocybin-assisted therapy, describes the process, and limitations to using this framework.
Potential Therapeutic Effects of Psilocybin
2017 | Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W.
This review (2017) evaluates the therapeutic research into psilocybin as a treatment for addiction, treatment-resistant depression, and mood and anxiety disorders. The authors also analyse the safety data from these clinical trials.
Psychedelics and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
2020 | Carpenter, L. L., Kalin, N. H., McDonald, W., Nemeroff, C. B., Reiff, C. M., Richman, E. E., Rodriguez, C. I., Widge, A. S.
This review (2020) finds that randomized clinical trials (RCTs) support the efficacy of various psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health disorders.
An Update on the Efficacy and Tolerability of Oral Ketamine for Major Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
2020 | Frye, M. A., Joseph, B., Kung, S., Nuñez, N. A., Pahwa, M., Prokop, L. J., Schak, K. M., Seshadri, A., Singh, B., Voort, J. L. V.
This meta-analysis (n=161) of 10 studies (3 RCTs) found a marginal efficacy of oral ketamine for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Classical Psychedelics as Therapeutics in Psychiatry - Current Clinical Evidence and Potential Therapeutic Mechanisms in Substance Use and Mood Disorders
2021 | Mertens, L. J., Preller, K. H.
This review (2021) investigates the studies with psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca) since 2011 for substance use disorders (SUD) and mood disorders (e.g. depression). More (rigorous) studies (RCTs) are needed.
Gaddum and LSD: the birth and growth of experimental and clinical neuropharmacology research on 5-HT in the UK
2008 | Green, A. R.
This review (2008) retraces the 20-year scientific history of serotonin (5-HT) research in the UK.
Efficacy of ketamine in the rapid treatment of major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies
2016 | Chen, J., Han, Y., Li, Q., Li, P., Liu, Y., Wang, H., Xie, P, Zhang, Y., Zheng, P., Zhou, X., Zou, D.
This meta-analysis (2016, 9 RCT studies, n=368) suggests that ketamine is an effective short-term treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Comparative efficacy of racemic ketamine and esketamine for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis
2020 | Bahji, A., Vazquez, G. H., Zarate, C. A.
This systemic review and meta-analysis (2020) of 24 clinical trials (n=1877) assessed the comparative efficacy and tolerability of racemic and esketamine for the treatment of unipolar and bipolar major depression. The authors found that intravenous ketamine appeared to be more efficacious than intranasal esketamine for the treatment of depression.
Management of treatment-resistant depression: Challenges and strategies
2020 | Blumberger, D. M., Daskalakis, Z. J., Voineskos, D.
This review (2020) details the background and therapeutic challenges associated with treatment-resistant depression. A wide range of treatments are evaluated, including novel therapeutics such as ketamine and psilocybin.
A review of emerging therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses
2020 | Chi, T., Gold, J. A.
This review (2020) presents modern human studies into psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ayahuasca in the treatment of various psychiatric illnesses, including treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety, and substance use disorders. Safety and efficacy data are also presented, from both human and animal studies.
The Emerging Role of Psilocybin and MDMA in the Treatment of Mental Illness
2020 | Cha, D. S., Chen-Li, D., El-Halabi, S., Gill, B., Gill, H., Ho, R., Lee, Y., Lipsitz, O., Majeed, A., Mansur, R. B., McIntyre, R. S., Nasri, F., Rodrigues, N. B., Rosenblat, J. D.
This narrative review (2020) evaluates the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and MDMA for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. The review explains the need for effective mental health treatments and highlights the lack of dose-response studies in placebo-controlled settings with a real-world clinical population.
Classic serotonergic psychedelics for mood and depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of mood disorder patients and healthy participants
2021 | de Manicor, M., Galvão-Coelho, N. L., Gonzales, M., Marx, W., Perkins, D., Sarris, J., Sinclair, J.
This meta-analytic review (2021, n=257) found that psychedelics provide improvements in mood for patients with mood disorders (and healthy subjects), both short (3h to 1d) and long-term (up to 60d).
The relationship between subjective effects induced by a single dose of ketamine and treatment response in patients with major depressive disorder: a systematic review
2020 | Kosten, T. R., Mathai, D. S., Meyer, M. J., Storch, E. A.
This paper (2020) aimed to review the relationship between ketamine's anti-depressant effect and its subjective effects and found that they were correlated in some studies (1/3 studies).
Single-dose infusion ketamine and non-ketamine N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists for unipolar and bipolar depression: a meta-analysis of efficacy, safety and time trajectories
2016 | Bauer, M., Chawla, J. M., Correll, C. U., Hagi, K., Kane, J. M., Kishimoto, T., Zarate, C. A.
This meta-analysis (2016; 14 RCTs) found that single infusions of ketamine (to a lesser extent, non-ketamine NMDAR antagonists) has rapid anti-depressant effects that can last for up to one week.
A comparison of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to non-assisted psychotherapy in treatment-resistant PTSD: A systematic review and meta-analysis
2020 | Duffy, J. M. N., Illingworth, B. J. G., Jelen, L. A., Lambarth, A. T., Lewis, D. J., Rucker, J.
This systematic review and meta-analysis (2020) of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, found that over four RCT's (n=67), PTSD scores (CAPS-IV) were lower in the 75mg and 125mg groups (not 100mg), and depression scores (BDI) only in the 75mg group.
Serotonergic hallucinogens in the treatment of anxiety and depression in patients suffering from a life-threatening disease: A systematic review
2018 | Gasser, P., Gutwinski, S., Hermle, L., Jungaberle, H., Majic, T., Reiche, S.
This systematic review (2018) of 11 clinical trials (n=445) found that psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin) reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening diseases (end-of-life).
Therapeutic effects of classic serotonergic psychedelics: A systematic review of modern-era clinical studies
2020 | Andersen, K. A. A., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Nutt, D. J.
This systematic review (2020) looked at 10 modern studies (n=188) on psychedelics (psilocybin, ayahuasca, LSD) for the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders. The review found the studies to provide evidence for efficacy (up to months later) and safety.
Antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive effects of ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): a systematic review of clinical trials published in the last 25 years
2016 | Crippa, J. A., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Osório, F. L., Riba, J., Zuardi, A. W.
This systematic review (2015) identified (only) 6 (very high) quality studies and argues that these psychedelics may be useful tools for the treatment of mental health disorders.
Psychedelics in the treatment of unipolar mood disorders: a systematic review
2016 | Flynn, S., Frowde, K. D., Jelen, L. A., Rucker, J., Young, A. H.
This meta-analysis (n=423) of studies before prohibition (1949-73) of treating unipolar mood disorders (depression) showed that, besides the many flaws of the studies, the results were positive (79% of participants showed improvements, few side-effects).
Classical hallucinogens and neuroimaging: A systematic review of human studies: hallucinogens and neuroimaging
2016 | Crippa, J. A., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Osório, F. L.
A systematic review (2016) found that psychedelics (serotonergic 'hallucinogens') have a distinct influence on brain structures that have anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving), antidepressant, and antiaddictive properties.
The experimental effects of psilocybin on symptoms of anxiety and depression: A meta-analysis
2020 | Goldberg, S. B., Hutson, P. R., Nicholas, C. R., Pace, B. T., Raison, C. L.
This meta-analysis (2020) reported favorably on four trials (n=117) that studied the effect of psilocybin-assisted therapy for anxiety and depression.
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).
Esketamine Nasal Spray for Rapid Reduction of Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms in Patients Who Have Active Suicidal Ideation With Intent: Double-Blind, Randomized Study (ASPIRE I)
2020| Canuso, C. M., Drevets, W. C., Fu, D. J., Hough, D., Ionescu, D. F., Lane, R., Lim, P., Manji, H., Sanacora, G.
This placebo-controlled, double-blind study, phase 3 study (n=226) compared esketamine (84mg, nasal, 2xp/w for 4w) with a placebo spray and found esketamine to be effective in lowering depression scores (MADRS) for those suffering from depression (MDD) and suicidal ideation (SI). Scores on a measure of SI was, however, not significantly different between the two groups.
Rapid antidepressant effect of ketamine correlates with astroglial plasticity in the hippocampus
2017| Ardalan, M., Nyengaard, J. R., Rafati, A. H., Wegener, G.
This vehicle-controlled animal study (n=24) investigated the effects of esketamine (4.5mg/0.3kg) on astrocyte plasticity in the hippocampus of a depression-model rat strain. Results indicate that ketamine can rapidly modify the shape of astrocytes (sub-type of glial cells) so that they can optimally modulate the synaptic micro-environment, neurogenesis, and vascularization, which is otherwise impaired under depression.
A qualitative and quantitative account of patient’s experiences of ketamine and its antidepressant properties
2021| Anderson, C., Chacko, E., Chen, J., French, A., Hay, J., Jung, S., Malpas, G., McMillan, R., Muthukumaraswamy, S., Ponton, R., Rajan, A., Spriggs, M. J., Sumner, R. L., Sundram, F.
This randomized, double-blind, active placebo-controlled, crossover study (n=32) investigated the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine (31mg/70kg) by using quantitative and qualitative assessments of its long-term effects and acute psychedelic experience. Rapid improvements in depressive symptoms correlated with higher scores on the spirituality, experience of unity, and insight subscales of the altered states of consciousness questionnaire (11D-ASC), but were not sustained beyond two weeks.
Antidepressant, anxiolytic and procognitive effects of subacute and chronic ketamine in the chronic mild stress model of depression
2017| Gruca, P., Lason-Tyburkiewicz, M., Papp, M., Willner, P.
This vehicle-controlled rodent study (n=16) compared the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of ketamine (5, 10, 15 or 30 mg/kg) to the antidepressant imipramine (10 mg/kg), using chronic exposure to mild stress as a depression model and assessing their cognitive capacity of novel object recognition and their natural aversion to open spaces. Results indicated a sustained antidepressant-like effect of ketamine at an optimum dose of 10 mg/kg, which reversed the anxiogenic and dyscognitive effects of chronic mild stress exposure much faster than the classical antidepressant imipramine.
Mood and neuropsychological effects of different doses of ketamine in electroconvulsive therapy for treatment-resistant depression
2016| He, H., Huang, X., Jiang, M., Li, Q., Wang, Z., Zhang, C., Zhang, M., Zhong, X.
This randomized, double-blind, active placebo-controlled study (n=90) compared the antidepressant efficacy between ketamine (56mg/70kg), the anesthetic propofol (56mg/70kg), and the combination of ketamine (35mg/70kg) plus propofol (35mg/70kg), within the context of pretreatment for electroconvulsive therapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Compared to the others, the ketamine group exhibited earlier improvements in depression, better seizure parameters and seizure quality in electroconvulsive therapy, and a lower degree of executive cognitive impairment, which highlights the usefulness of ketamine-assisted electroconvulsive therapy for treating depression.
Intravenous arketamine for treatment-resistant depression: open-label pilot study
2020| Bandeira, I. D., Bezerra, M. L. O., Caliman-Fontes, A. T., Correia-Melo, F. S., Dias-Neto, A. L., Guerreiro-Costa, L. N. F., Jesus-Nunes, A. P., Lacerda, A. L. T., Leal, G. C., Lima, C. S., Loo, C., Marback, R. F., Marques, B. L. S., Mello, R. P., Quarantini, L. C., Sampaio, A. S., Sanacora, G., Silva, S. S., Telles, M., Turecki, G., Vieira, F.
This open-label study (n=7) study investigated the antidepressant efficacy of (R-)ketamine (35mg/70kg), which has been implicated by animal studies to be more potent and longer-lasting compared to (S-)ketamine. Results demonstrate (R-)ketamine's ability to produce a fast and robust antidepressant effect in patients with depression, with potentially greater and longer-lasting effects, greater response rate, and a lower remission rate than effects reported for (S-)ketamine, although this study had a small sample size and lacked placebo-control.
Trial of Psilocybin versus Escitalopram for Depression
2021| Baker-Jones, M., Blemings, A., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Giribaldi, B., Martell, J., Murphy, R., Murphy-Beiner, A., Nutt, D. J., Watts, R.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=59) compared psilocybin (2x25mg; 3 weeks apart) to escitalopram (SSRI) over a six-week period and found large improvements in depression scores for those suffering from depression (MDD) in both groups. On the main measure of depression, the QIDS-SR-16, there was no significant difference between both groups. The study did find significant differences, favoring psilocybin, on the HAM-D-17, MADRS, avoidance, flourishing, wellbeing, and suicidality.
Harnessing psilocybin: antidepressant-like behavioral and synaptic actions of psilocybin are independent of 5-HT2R activation in mice
2021| Cole, A. B., Hesselgrave, N., Thompson, S. M., Troppoli, T. A., Wulff, A. B.
This mice study found that the anti-depressant effects from psilocybin (1mg/kg) are possibly independent of the psychedelic/hallucinogen effects by pre-treating the mice with ketanserin (which blocks the acute effects) and finding similar anti-depressant effects as in the psilocybin only group (measured through activity patterns and synaptic action).
Acute cognitive effects of single-dose intravenous ketamine in major depressive and posttraumatic stress disorder
2021| Davis, M. T., DellaGiogia, N., Esterlis, I., Maruff, P., Pietrzak, R. H.
This open-label study (n=58) compared the effects of a single dose of ketamine (35-56.7mg/70kg) on the cognitive effects of those suffering from depression (MDD; n=14) or PTSD (n=15) and healthy control subjects (n=29). The study found acute declines in attention, executive function, and verbal memory. Only the effect on attention was larger in the patient groups. The baseline cognitive function of participants didn't predict clinical outcomes.
LSD-assisted psychotherapy and the human encounter with death
1972| Goodman, L. E., Grof, S., Kurland, A. A., Richards, W. A.
This early study (1972; n=31) on LSD-assisted psychotherapy (200-500µg) showed the promise of using psychedelics in combination with therapy. The participants of the study were diagnosed with cancer and received therapy/preparation before (10 hours) and after (1-2 hours). Of these patients, 9 (29%) significantly improved on scores of emotional/mental health.
Rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression: a randomised placebo-controlled trial
2018| Alchieri, J. C., Andrade, K. C., Araújo, A. M., Arcoverde, E., Barreto, D., De Oliveira Silveira, G., Dos Santos, R. G., Galvão-Coelho, N. L., Hallak, J. E., Lobão-Soares, B., Maia-de-Oliveira, J. P., Mota-Rolim, S. A., Novaes, M. M., Onias, H., Osório, F. L., Palhano-Fontes, F., Pessoa, J. A., Riba, J., Sanches, R. F., Santos, F. R., Silva-Junior, A. A., Tófoli, L.F., Yonamine, M.
This randomized placebo-controlled trial investigated the antidepressant efficacy of ayahuasca (25.2mg/70kg DMT, 130.2mg/70kg harmine, 16.8mg/70kg harmaline, 84mg/70kg tetrahydroharmine) in patients with depression. While both groups exhibited improvements in depression, between-group effect sizes increased throughout the week, yielding a significantly higher response rate in the ayahuasca group after a week.
A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Dose-Frequency Study of Intravenous Ketamine in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Depression
2016| Cooper, K., Daly, E. J., De Boer, P., Drevets, W. C., Fava, M., Fedgchin, M., Kurian, B., Lim, P., Manji, H., Murrough, J. W., Pinter, C., Sanacora, G., Shelton, R. C., Singh, J. B., Van Nueten, L., Winokur, A.
This multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (n=67) investigated the antidepressant effects of ketamine (35mg/70kg) in relation to the dose frequency administered to patients with depression (TRD). Results indicated that both a twice-weekly and thrice-weekly administration regimen maintained antidepressant efficacy over 15 days.
Nitrous oxide as an adjunctive therapy in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled double-blind pilot trial
2021| Abrão, J., Guimarães, M. C., Guimarães, T. M., Hallak, J. E., Machado-de-Sousa, J. P.
This double-blind placebo-controlled between-subjects study (n=23) tested the antidepressant efficacy of inhaled nitrous oxide (50% N2O|50% O2 versus 100% O2) in patients diagnosed with major depression (MDD). Across multiple treatment sessions administered across a period of 4 weeks, there were significant reductions in depressive symptoms in the acute response to treatment and accumulatively across sessions.
Neuregulin signaling mediates the acute and sustained antidepressant effects of subanesthetic ketamine
2021| Chen, L., Grieco, S. F., Holmes, T. C., Johnston, K. G., Lai, C., Nelson, R. R., Qiao, X., Xu, X.
This rodent study (n=50) investigated the signaling pathways associated with the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine (10mg/kg) and found a novel neural plasticity-based mechanism implicated in its acute and sustained effects.
A quantitative exploration of the relationships between regular yoga practice, microdosing psychedelics, wellbeing and personality variables
2021| Bettinson, S., Blatchford, E., Bright, S. J., Gringart, E.
This exploratory cross-sectional survey study (n=339) investigated differences in mood and wellbeing between samples of people who either microdose, practice yoga, or engage in neither, in light of personality trait differences in openness, neuroticism, and absorption. Microdosing and yoga practices exhibited complementary effects, as participants who practiced both had the highest absorption score, exhibited higher levels of wellbeing, and had less depression and anxiety, compared to people who either practiced yoga or microdosing, and participants recruited as controls. However, participants were recruited from different population samples, which may bias self-report, and lead to significant differences in age, gender, employment, and education between the conditions.
Changes in inflammatory biomarkers are related to the antidepressant effects of Ayahuasca
2020| Campos Braga, I., de Araujo, D. B., de Almeida, R. N., de Menezes Galvão, A. C., Galvão-Coelho, N. L., Lobão-Soares, B., Maia-de-Oliveira, J. P., Palhano-Fontes, F., Perkins, D., Sarris, J.
This double-blind, active placebo-controlled study (n=73) investigated the effects of ayahuasca (25.2mg/70kg of DMT, 130.2mg/70kg of harmine, 16.8 mg/70kg of harmaline, 84mg/70kg of tetrahydroharmine) on blood inflammatory biomarkers in patients with treatment-resistant depression (n=28) and healthy controls (n=45). Results indicate that 48 hours after treatment the concentration of the inflammatory biomarker CRP was reduced in response to ayahuasca but to placebo amongst both healthy volunteers and patients with depression and that improvements in the patients' depressive symptoms were correlated with this trend.
The effects of low-dose ketamine on the prefrontal cortex and amygdala in treatment-resistant depression: A randomized controlled study
2016| Chen, M. H., Hong, C. J., Li, C. T., Lin, W. C., Liu, R. S., Su, T. P., Tu, P. C., Yang, B. H.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=48) investigated the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine (14 or 35mg/70kg) in patients with depression and found evidence that its rapid antidepressant effects at 40 and 240 minutes post‐treatment were facilitated by glutamatergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex.
Ketamine plus propofol-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) transiently improves the antidepressant effects and the associated brain functional alterations in patients with propofol-ECT-resistant depression
2020| Chen, S., Chen, M., Ji, S., Jiang, D., Li, G., Li, J., Lin, X., Tian, H., Wang, L., Wang, W., Zhang, J., Zhuo, C., Zhu, J.
This open-label study (n=28) investigated whether ketamine (35mg/70kg) treatment prior to propofol-assisted electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can improve clinical symptoms of depression. The addition of ketamine improved treatment, and this was accompanied by increased global functional connectivity density in the left temporal and subgenual anterior cingulated cortex and decreased functional connectivity strength within the default mode network for a period of 10 days. However, the remission of depressive symptoms only lasted 7 days.
Antidepressant and neurocognitive effects of serial ketamine administration versus ECT in depressed patients
2020| Aust, S., Bajbouj, M., Basso, L., Bönke, L., Gärtner, M., Grimm, S., Heuser-Collier, I., Otte, C., Wingenfeld, K.
This open-label between-subjects study (n=49) compared the antidepressant efficacy of serial R(-)ketamine treatment (35mg/70kg) versus electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients with depression. Ketamine produced faster antidepressant effects and improved neurocognitive functioning, especially attention and executive functions, which implicate that it may be a more favorable treatment option in the short-term.
A rapid positive influence of S-ketamine on the anxiety of patients in palliative care: a retrospective pilot study
2020| Cordes, J., Falk, E., Grau, I., Kienbaum, P., Lutterbeck, M. J., Neukirchen, M., Schlieper, D., Schwartz, J., van Caster, P.
This retrospective pilot study (n=8) investigated whether the purified enantiomer S-ketamine (17.5mg/70kg) has a positive impact during the treatment of pain for patients within palliative care, and found that it alleviated psychological distress, depression, and anxiety.
Ketamine Treatment and Global Brain Connectivity in Major Depression
2016| Abdallah, C. G., Anticevic, A., Averill, L. A., Averill, C., Charney, D. S., Collins, K. A., DeWilde, K. E., Geha, P., Iosifescu, D. V., Murrough, J. W., Schwartz, J., Tang, C. Y., Wong, E.
This open-label, counterbalanced, between-subjects study (n=43) compared brain activity before and after ketamine (35mg/70kg) administration across healthy control and patients with major depression. The treatment normalized restored abnormally low brain connectivity levels in the prefrontal cortex of patients with depression, which may be indicative of a potential mechanism whereby ketamine restores synaptic dysconnectivity related to chronic stress and increased extracellular glutamate in the prefrontal cortex. The authors highlight the method of global brain connectivity with signal regression as a useful biomarker for quantifying treatment response to rapid-acting antidepressants.
The effect of ketamine on preventing postpartum depression
2021| Alipoor, M., Farahbakhsh, F., Kazemi, M., Loripoor, M., Sarkoohi, A.
This double-blind study (n=134) suggests that the usage of ketamine in the induction of a caesarian section may be helpful in preventing postpartum depression.
Efficacy and safety of oral ketamine versus diclofenac to alleviate mild to moderate depression in chronic pain patients: A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial
2016| Afarideh, M., Agah, E., Akhondzadeh, S., Arbabi, M., Ghajar, A., Jafarinia, M., Noorbala, A. A., Saravi, M. A., Tafakhori, A.
This double-blind study (n=40) compared the efficacy and safety of oral ketamine and diclofenac as treatments of mild to moderate depression over a 6-week treatment period and found that ketamine resulted in significant reductions of depression scores above those achieved by diclofenac.
A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Sub-Dissociative Dose Ketamine Pilot Study in the Treatment of Acute Depression and Suicidality in a Military Emergency Department Setting
2016| Boche, B., Burger, J., Capobianco, M., Darracq, M. A., Lovern, R., McLay, R., Ross, E.
This placebo-controlled proof-of-concept study (n=10, 7 placebo) administered sub-dissociative doses of ketamine to military personnel experiencing depression and suicidal ideation (SI), and found that the ketamine infusion resulted in significant short-term improvement in two out of the three patients who received the drug.
Antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients
2000| Anand, A., Berman, R. M., Cappiello, A., Charney, D. S., Heniger, G. R., Krystal, J. H., Oren, D. A.
This double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, within-subjects study (n=7) investigated the antidepressant efficacy of a single dose of ketamine (35mg/70kg) in patients with depression and found significant improvements in depressive symptoms within 72 hours after infusion.
Naturalistic Use of Mescaline Is Associated with Self-Reported Psychiatric Improvements and Enduring Positive Life Changes
2021| Agin-Liebes, G. I., Davis, A. K., Lancelotta, R., Ramaekers, J. G., Uthaug, M. V.
This survey study (n=452) found that the use of mescaline led to improvements in scores on clinical conditions for those suffering from clinical conditions (anxiety 80%, depression 86%, PTSD & AUD 76%). Those who scored higher on acute mystical experience (MEQ30), ego dissolution, and psychological insight had larger improvement than those who scored lower.
A placebo-controlled study of the effects of ayahuasca, set and setting on mental health of participants in ayahuasca group retreats
2021| de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E. B., Fábregas, J. M., Kuypers, K. P. C., Mason, N. L., Ramaekers, J. G., Reckweg, J., Riba, J., Toennes, S. W., Uthaug, M. V., van Oorsouw, K.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=30) controlled for expectation bias in a naturalistic ayahuasca ceremony. The use of ayahuasca led to more emotional empathy, but both groups improved as much on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Ayahuasca: pharmacology, neuroscience and therapeutic potential
2016| Álvarez, E., de la Fuente Revenga, M., Domínguez-Clavé, E., Elices, M., Feilding, A., Friedlander, P., Pascual, J. C., Riba, J., Soler, J.
This review (2016) examines the pharmacology and neuroscience of ayahuasca, and preliminary findings which indicate the psychological mechanisms associated with its therapeutic benefits are similar to those of mindfulness-based therapy. Ayahuasca appears to enhance self-acceptance and decentering, which converges on evidence from neuroimaging studies that show activation in areas associated with emotional processing and memory formation, thereby enabling individuals to review emotional events with increased vividness and a heightened sense of “reality”. This suggests potential to treat trauma-related conditions and other disorders like borderline personality disorder.
Antidepressive and anxiolytic effects of ayahuasca: a systematic literature review of animal and human studies
2016| Crippa, J. A., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Osório, F. L.
This meta-analysis (2016) examines studies on the mental health effects of ayahuasca, harmine, and harmaline within humans and animals, and shows consistent evidence for its antidepressant and anxiolytic (anxiety) effects.
Regulation of neural responses to emotion perception by ketamine in individuals with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder
2015| Charney, D. S., Collins, K. A., DeWilde, K. E., Fields, J., Iosifescu, D. V., Mathew, S. J., Murrough, J. W., Phillips, M. L., Tang, C. Y., Wong, E.
This open-label between-subjects study (n=40) investigated the antidepressant effects of ketamine (35mg/70kg) with regard to changes in the neural correlates of emotional processing, 24 hours after infusion, in patients with major depression compared to baseline measures from healthy volunteers. They found that ketamine rapidly increases brain responses to positive emotion, which correlated with increased connectivity of the right caudate during and improvement in depression severity.
A randomized, double-blind, active placebo-controlled study of efficacy, safety, and durability of repeated vs single subanesthetic ketamine for treatment-resistant depression
2020| Albott, C. S., Erbes, C., Lim, K. O., Shiroma, P. R., Thuras, P., Tye, S., Wels, J.
This randomized active placebo-controlled between-subjects study (n=54) compared the antidepressant efficacy of administering six consecutive ketamine infusions (35 mg/70kg) versus consecutive five midazolam infusions (3.15 mg/70kg) followed by a single ketamine infusion, over twelve days. While acute repeated ketamine showed greater antidepressant efficacy to midazolam after five infusions, there was no significant difference in depression scores after the control grouped had received a single ketamine infusion.
Prolonged epigenetic and synaptic plasticity alterations following single exposure to a psychedelic in mice
2021| Beardsley, P. M., de la Fuente Revenga, M., González-Maeso, J., Guevara, C. A., Huntley, G. W., Lu, C., Naler, L. B., Saunders, J. M., Sierra, S., Toneatti, R., Wolstenholme, J. T., Zhou, Z., Zhu, B.
This placebo-controlled rodent study (n=10) investigated the epigenetic factors driving neuroplasticity and contextual fear extinction in response to the serotonergic hallucinogen DOI (2mg/kg). Using a transgenetic knockout mouse strain that lacked 5-HT2A receptors, this study demonstrates that this pathway is essential for inducing long-lasting alterations in frontal cortex gene expression and chromatin organization that outlast the acute antidepressant action of this psychedelic and its presence in the organism.
Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing
2021| Blemings, A., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Feilding, A., Kartner, L., Nutt, D. J., Rosas, F. E., Szigeti, B.
This self-blinding experiment (n=191) finds that the placebo and microdosing groups both experienced similar improvements in self-rated psychological well-being and cognitive function (e.g. mood, energy, creativity) after four weeks. This study provides more evidence that microdosing benefits can be attributed to expectancy (placebo) effects.
Modulation of the antidepressant effects of ketamine by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin
2020| Abdallah, C. G., Ahn, K-H., Averill, L. A., D’Souza, D. C., Duman, R. S., Formica, R., Goktas, S., Gueorguieva, R., Krystal, J. H., Purohit, P., Ranganathan, M., Sanacora, G., Sherif, M., Southwick, S. M.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (n=20) found that rapamycin (6mg, iv) extended the antidepressant effects (MADRS) of ketamine (35mg/70kg) at two weeks (41% higher response rate, 29% higher remission rate). This is contrasted to (animal/in vitro) studies that found opposing effects.
Neural correlates of change in major depressive disorder anhedonia following open-label ketamine
2015| Nutt, D. J.
This open-label study (n=52) investigated the effects of ketamine (35mg/70kg) with regard to the neural correlates related to the remission of anhedonia in major depressive disorder (MDD). Ketamine infusion rapidly reduced anhedonia, a trend that was sustained for three days and correlated with increased glucose metabolism in the hippocampus and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and decreased metabolism in the inferior frontal gyrus and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC).
Single, Fixed-Dose Intranasal Ketamine for Alleviation of Acute Suicidal Ideation. An Emergency Department, Trans-Diagnostic Approach: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Proof-of-Concept Trial
2021| Domany, Y., McCullumsmith, C. B.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study study (n=30) with intranasal ketamine (40mg) found significant reductions in suicidal ideation (SI, 80 vs 33% remission) and depressive symptoms (MADRS) 4 hours after administration for those with SI in the emergency department.
Investigation of medical effect of multiple ketamine infusions on patients with major depressive disorder
This open-label study (n=77) examines the sustained effects of six consecutive ketamine infusions (0.5mg/kg over 40 min) in Chinese patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Six ketamine infusions increased rates of response and remission when compared to a single-dose ketamine infusion in patients with MDD.
A single inhalation of vapor from dried toad secretion containing 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) in a naturalistic setting is related to sustained enhancement of satisfaction with life, mindfulness-related capacities, and a decrement of psychopathological symptoms
2019| Jurok, R., Kuchar, M., Kuypers, K. P. C., Lancelotta, R., Maryska, M., Mason, N. L., Páleníček, T., Rak, J., Ramaekers, J. G., Riba, J., Sulakova, A., Uthaug, M. V., van Oorsouw, K.
This open-label (naturalistic) study (n=42) with 5-MeO-DMT (smoked) found that it significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress. It also increased scores on mindfulness and life satisfaction. These effects correlated with higher ego dissolution and oceanic boundlessness during the acute experience.
People of color in North America report improvements in racial trauma and mental health symptoms following psychedelic experiences
2020| Davis, A. K., Grigas, P. C., Haeny, A. M., Sepeda, N. D., Sinnott, S., Williams, T. M., Xin, Y.
This survey study (n=313) suggests that psychedelic experiences (MDMA, LSD, psilocybin) could reduce symptoms of racial trauma. The participant, 30 days later, slowed moderate reductions in traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and stress.
Antidepressant Efficacy of Ketamine in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression: A Two-Site Randomized Controlled Trial
2013| Al Jurdi, R. K., Chang, L. C., Charney, D. S., Foulkes, A., Green, C. E., Iosifescu, D. V., Iqbal, S., Mathew, S. J., Murrough, J. W., Perez, A. M., Pillemer, S., Shah, A.
This rigorous randomized controlled trial (n=73) found that ketamine has rapid (24 hours) anti-depressant effects (MARDS) for those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Rapid and Longer-Term Antidepressant Effects of Repeated Ketamine Infusions in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression
2012| Charney, D. S., Collins, K. A., Iosifescu, D. V., Mathew, S. J., Murrough, J. W., Parides, M. K., Perez, A. M., Pillemer, S., Rot, M. A. H., Stern, J.
This open-label study (n=24) found that repeated infusions of ketamine can sustain the rapid anti-depressant effect obtained after one infusion. Nevertheless, the effect of 6 infusions was only maintained for a median of 18 days.
Effects of ayahuasca on psychometric measures of anxiety, panic-like and hopelessness in Santo Daime members
2007| Cruz, A. P. M., Dos Santos, R. G., Landeira-Fernandez, J., Motta, V., Strassman, R. J.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (2007; n=9) investigated state and trait anxiety, hopelessness, and panic under the acute influence of ayahuasca in long-term users. Results show decreases in hopelessness and panic, but no change in anxiety.
More realistic forecasting of future life events after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2018| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Lyons, T.
This open-label study (n=30) found that psilocybin corrected pessimism biases in depressed patients and that this change in pessimism was significantly correlated with improvement in depressive symptoms.
Ketamine plus imipramine treatment induces antidepressant-like behavior and increases CREB and BDNF protein levels and PKA and PKC phosphorylation in rat brain
2011| Cesconetto, P., Ferraro, A. K., Quevedo, J., Réus, G. Z., Ribeiro, K. F., Souza, C. T., Stringari, R. B., Vitto, M. F.
This placebo-controlled animal study (n=135) investigated the possibility of synergistic interactions between antidepressant imipramine (10-20mg/kg) with ketamine (5-10mg/kg). The results indicate that co-administration of imipramine with ketamine may induce a more pronounced antidepressant activity than treatment with each antidepressant alone.
The hidden therapist: evidence for a central role of music in psychedelic therapy
2018| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Evans, J., Feilding, A., Giribaldi, B., Kaelen, M., Nutt, D. J., Raine, J., Rodrigues, N. B., Roseman, L., Timmermann, C.
This open-label qualitative interview study (n=19) assessed the role of music during psychedelic therapy with psilocybin (25mg/70kg) for treatment-resistant depression. It identified a number of ways in which music influenced their experience, most frequently related to the intensification of emotions and mental imagery, and the music appeared to be a significant source of guidance, creating a sense of grounding, as well as a sense of carrying the listener into different psychological places.
Decreased mental time travel to the past correlates with default-mode network disintegration under lysergic acid diethylamide
2016| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Feilding, A., Kaelen, M., Nutt, D. J., Schloerscheidt, A. M., Speth, J., Speth, C.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=20) investigated the effects of LSD (75 μg/70kg) in relation to participants' ability to mentally project themselves backwards and forwards in time, based on brain activity measures and subjective reports that were analyzed by six blinded qualitative proof raters. There were significantly fewer cases of mental time travel to the past under LSD, meaning that they were less likely to recollect aspects of the past autobiographical self, and this phenomenon was correlated with the decreased integrity of the Default Mode Network.
Relationship of ketamine’s antidepressant and psychotomimetic effects in unipolar depression
2013| Horacek, J., Klirova, M., Kohutova, B., Novak, T., Páleníček, T., Sos, P.
This double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled study (n=27) investigated the antidepressant and psychotomimetic effects of a single ketamine infusion (38mg/70kg) in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Ketamine infusion induced acute psychotomimetic symptoms, which correlated with the alleviation of negative mood ratings and the betterment of depression symptoms in the days after.
User perceptions of the benefits and harms of hallucinogenic drug use: A web-based questionnaire study
2010| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Nutt, D. J.
This survey study (n=626) investigated user perceptions of the benefits and harms of using LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, cannabis, ketamine, and alcohol. Overall, LSD and psilocybin were regarded as having the most positive impact on wellbeing, and the least harms in terms of physical and mental health.
Positive expectations predict improved mental-health outcomes linked to psychedelic microdosing
2021| Balaet, M., Buchborn, T., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Kaertner, L. S., Kettner, H., Roseman, L., Spriggs, M. J., Steinborn, M. B., Timmermann, C.
This prospective survey study (n=81) found that expectancy effects were mostly predictive of microdosing outcomes on reductions in state anxiety, depressive symptoms (at 4-week endpoint), and positive outcomes (e.g. psychological resilience, -connectedness, -flexibility).
Prolonged ketamine infusion modulates limbic connectivity and induces sustained remission of treatment-resistant depression
2021| Ances, B. M., Farber, N. B., Kharash, E. D., Lenze, E. J., Nicol, G. E., Palanca, B. J. A., Schweiger, J. A., Siegel, J. S., Snyder, A. Z., Yingling, M. D.
This open-label study (n=23) found that a long (96 hours (4 days)) infusion of ketamine (10mg/70kg/h up to 42mg/70kg/h) significantly improved depressive symptoms (MADRS) for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression. This effect held up to two weeks later and the study also reported on the associated neurobiological changes.
Replication of Ketamine’s Antidepressant Efficacy in Bipolar Depression: A Randomized Controlled Add-On Trial
2012| Brutsche, N. E., Cravchik, A., Diazgranados, N., Franco-Chaves, J., Ibrahim, L., Liberty, V., Luckenbaugh, D. A., Marquardt, C. A., Selter, J., Zarate, C. A.
This double-blind, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled replication study (n=15) investigated the effects of ketamine (35mg) on patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression, and found rapid improvements of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and subjective well-being within 40 minutes after infusion and up to 3 days after.
The peak experience variable in DPT-assisted psychotherapy with cancer patients
2012| Dileo, F. B., Rhead, J. C., Richards, W. A., Yensen, R.
This study (1977; n = 34) found that peak experiences may be an important factor in determining the efficacy of DPT-assisted psychotherapy for cancer patients.
Antidepressant effects of a single dose of ayahuasca in patients with recurrent depression: a preliminary report
2015| Crippa, J. A., de Araujo, D. B., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Macedo, L., Maia-de-Oliveira, J. P., Osório, F. L., Riba, J., Sanches, R. F., Wichert-Ana, L.
This open-label study (n=6) found that a single dose of ayahuasca has fast-acting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects (up to 21 days later, MADRS) in patients with a current depressive episode.
Natural speech algorithm applied to baseline interview data can predict which patients will respond to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2018| Ashton, M., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Carrillo, F., Fernández Slezak, D., Fitzgerald, L., Nutt, D. J., Sigman, M., Stroud, J.
This machine-learning study (n=17) was able to predict the therapeutic effectiveness of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression using an algorithm applied to natural speech data from the baseline interviews. The results were 85% accurate and 75% precise.
Attenuation and anticipation: A therapeutic use of lysergic acid diethylamide
1972| Kast, E.
This open-label clinical study (n=128) investigated whether LSD (100μg) can alleviate death-anxiety in terminally ill patients by decreasing the anticipation of their illness, and found that the administration of LSD was universally well tolerated. Specific effects included a general lift of mood that lasted for 11-12 hours, acute pain relief that lasted 12 hours, decreased the total pain intensity for 3 weeks, and diminished concern over the anticipation of death for up to 3 days after administration.
Individual Experiences in Four Cancer Patients Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy
2018| Agin-Liebes, G. I., Belser, A. B., Bogenschutz, M. P., Bossis, A. P., Guss, J., Malone, T., Mennenga, S. E., Owens, L. T., Podrebarac, S. K., Ross, S.
This case study describes patients (n=4) from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating single-dose psilocybin (21mg/70kg) psychotherapy to treat cancer-related anxiety and depression. These four participants’ personal narratives extended beyond the cancer diagnosis itself, frequently revolving around themes of self-compassion and love, acceptance of death, and memories of past trauma.
Longterm effects of ayahuasca in patients with recurrent depression: a 5-year qualitative follow-up
2018| Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Osório, F. L.
This qualitative follow-up study (n=8) interviewed patients 4-7 years after the intake of ayahuasca (123.2 mg DMT, 32.34mg Harmine) within the context of a previous open-label study; most patients reported that the experience was among the most important of their lives, but no long-term improvements in depression scores (MADRS) were found.
Acute and longer-term outcomes using ketamine as a clinical treatment at the Yale psychiatric hospital
2018| Katz, R. B., Ostroff, R. B., Sanacora, G., Toprak, M., Webler, R., Wilkinson, S. T.
This clinical study (n=54) found that ketamine was well tolerated as a treatment for depression, although anti-depressant effects were smaller than in previous studies.
DARK Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Ibogaine
2018| Surratt, C. K., Wasko, M. J., Witt-Enderby, P. A.
This literature review (2018) of the history of ibogaine looks back at the early use, pharmacological studies, and subsequent clinical trials that investigate this compound for the treatment of mental health disorders.
The use of the psychological flexibility model to support psychedelic assisted therapy
2019| Luoma, J. B., Watts, R.
This theory-building paper (2020) presents the ACE (Accept, Connect, Embody) model and how it's being used in a trial (Psilodep 2) with psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression.
Psilocybin-induced decrease in amygdala reactivity correlates with enhanced positive mood in healthy volunteers
2015| Bosch, O. G., Kraehenmann, R., Pokorny, T., Preller, K. H., Scheidegger, M., Seifritz, E., Vollenweider, F. X.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, fMRI study (n=25) found that a moderate dose of psilocybin (11.2mg/70kg) lowered amygdala (which is hyperactive in those with major depression) reactivity to negative and neutral (visual) stimuli. The decrease in emotional processing was correlated with an increase in positive mood.
Ketamine treatment for individuals with treatment-resistant depression: longitudinal qualitative interview study of patient experiences
2020| Brand, F., Hawton, K., Lascelles, K., Marzano, L., McShane, R., Trueman, H.
This longitudinal interview study (n=12) examined the subjective expectations and effects of ketamine treatment (35mg/70kg) in a population with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The study found high expectations, side-effects for most (11/12), a reduction in suicidal ideation (SI) for many (8/12) but for some (3/12) more SI when treatment effects decreased (1 week later).
Ketamine improves short-term plasticity in depression by enhancing sensitivity to prediction errors
2020| Campbell, D., Deng, C., Hay, J., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., McMillan, R., Muthukumaraswamy, S., Ponton, R., Spriggs, M. J., Sumner, R. L., Sundram, F.
This EEG study (n=30) in patients with depression shows that prediction error sensitivity (a possible proxy for brain plasticity, lacking in this population) is improved by ketamine (30.8mg/70kg).
Effects of psilocybin therapy on personality structure
2018| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Kaelen, M., MacLean, K. A., Nour, M. R., Nutt, D. J., Roseman, L.
This open-label study (n=20) found that dosages of psilocybin (10, 25mg) in a supportive setting, for those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), changed their personality. At 3-month follow-up, Neuroticism was decreased, Extraversion and Openness were increased. The changes were similar (but more pronounced) to changes after conventional antidepressant treatment.
Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder
2020| Barrett, F. S., Cosimano, M. P., Davis, A. K., Finan, P. H., Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., May, D. G., Sepeda, N. D.
This randomized open-label study (n=24) found that two sessions with psilocybin (20 and 30mg/70kg) significantly improved depression scores for a population with major depressive disorder (MDD) up to 8 weeks later.
Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial
2018| Burke, A. K., Choo, T-H., Galfalvy, H. C., Grunebaum, M. F., Keilp, J. G., Mann, J. J., Marver, J. E., Milak, M. S., Moitra, V. K., Oquendo, M. A., Parris, M. S., Sublette, M. E.
This randomized study (n=80) found that participants with depression (MDD) and suicidal ideation (SSI/SI) who were treated with ketamine (IV, 35mg/70kg) have significantly lower SSI scores versus treatment with midazolam (another anesthetic). This effect consistently held up to 6 weeks later.
Rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression: a randomized placebo-controlled trial
2018| Alchieri, J. C., Andrade, K. C., Araújo, D. B., Arcoverde, E., Barreto, D., De Oliveira Silveira, G., Dos Santos, R. G., Galvão-Coelho, N. L., Hallak, J. E., Lobão-Soares, B., Maia-de-Oliveira, J. P., Mota-Rolim, S. A., Novaes, M. M., Onias, H., Osório, F. L., Palhano-Fontes, F., Pessoa, J. A., Riba, J., Santos, F. R., Silva-Junior, A. A., Tófoli, L.F., Yonamine, M.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=29) found significant improvements in depression (TRD) scores (MADRS) up to seven days after a single dose of ayahuasca.
Therapeutic mechanisms of psilocybin: Changes in amygdala and prefrontal functional connectivity during emotional processing after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2020| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Demetriou, L., Mertens, L. J., Nutt, D. J., Roseman, L., Wall, M. B.
This further analysis of an fMRI study (n=19) investigated changes in brain function before versus after psilocybin (with psychological support) in patients with depression (TRD). After treatment, patients showed changes in amygdala function connectivity.
Rapid and sustained decreases in suicidality following a single dose of ayahuasca among individuals with recurrent major depressive disorder: results from an open-label trial
2020| de Lima Osório, F., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Sanches, R. F., Weissman, C. R., Zeifman, R. J.
This analysis of an earlier open-label study (n=15) on Ayahuasca, found significant (Hedges' g = 1.75) and sustained decreases in suicidality in people with depression (MDD).
Post-Psychedelic Reductions in Experiential Avoidance Are Associated With Decreases in Depression Severity and Suicidal Ideation
2020| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Kettner, H., Mertens, L. J., Wagner, A. C., Watts, R., Zeifman, R. J.
A prospective survey study (n=358) found that psychedelics may lead to significant decreases in experiential avoidance, depression severity, and suicidal ideation.
Psilocybin lacks antidepressant-like effect in the Flinders Sensitive Line rat
2019| Christiansen, S. L., Elfving, B., Højgaard, K., Jefsen, O., Müller, H. K., Nutt, D. J., Wegener, G.
This rat-model study (Flinders Sensitive Line - depressed rats) found no anti-depressant effects when given psilocybin (or psilocin). This study shows that a rat-model study may not be a good model for studying depression and psychedelics/psilocybin.
Comparison of Rapid Antidepressant and Antisuicidal Effects of Intramuscular Ketamine, Oral Ketamine, and Electroconvulsive Therapy in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder
2020| Kheirabadi, D., Kheirabadi, G. R., Mirlohi, Z., Norbaksh, A., Tarrahi, M. J.
This pilot study (n=45) found that oral and IV ketamine was as effective as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression (MDD) and suicidal ideation, and was rated more positively by participants.
Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms
2017| Bolstridge, M., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Curran, H. V., Demetriou, L., Kaelen, M., Leech, R., McGonigle, J., Murphy, K., Nutt, D. J., Pannekoek, J. N., Roseman, L., Tanner, M., Wall, M. B.
This within-subjects fMRI study (n=19) investigated changes in brain function before versus after psilocybin (with psychological support) in patients with treatment-resistant depression. After treatment, all patients showed decreased depressive symptoms and changes in brain functioning.
Acute subjective effects in LSD- and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy
2020| Gasser, P., Liechti, M. E., Oehen, P., Schmid, Y.
This open-label study (n=18) of group-therapy with LSD and MDMA aimed to describe the characteristics, treatment indicators, and acute effects on patients. The study makes a comparison with data from other (earlier) studies on the MEQ and ASC.
Antidepressant effects of a single dose of ayahuasca in patients with recurrent depression a SPECT study
2016| Araújo, D. B., Crippa, J. A., Dos Santos, R. G., Hallak, J. E., Macedo, L., Maia-de-Oliveira, J. P., Osório, F. L., Riba, J., Sanches, R. F., Wichert-Ana, L.
This open-label study (n=17) found that a single-dose of Ayahausca had significant effects antidepressant effects up to 21 days later (MADRS-scale and others).
Psilocybin biases facial recognition, goal-directed behavior, and mood state toward positive relative to negative emotions through different serotonergic subreceptors
2020| Bachmann, R., Kometer, M., Schmidt, A., Seifritz, E., Studerus, E., Vollenweider, F. X.
In this double-blind, within-subjects, placebo-controlled study (n=17) it was investigated whether psilocybin does bias emotional processing away from negative information by activating 5-HT2A (Serotonin) receptors. It was indeed found that psilocybin enhanced mood and shifted emotional bias towards positive information. The 5-HT2A receptors played a crucial roll in the effects of psilocybin on emotional processing.
Psilocybin with psychological support improves emotional face recognition in treatment-resistant depression
2017| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Curran, H. V., Freeman, T. P., Hindocha, C., Lawn, W., Leech, R., Nutt, D. J., Stroud, J.
This between-subjects study (n=33) investigated whether psilocybin alters emotional processing biases in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) when compared to healthy controls without TRD or psilocybin use. Two sessions of psilocybin with psychological support did improve the processing of emotional faces in treatment-resistant depression and this correlated with reduced anhedonia.
Quality of acute psychedelic experience predicts therapeutic efficacy of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2018| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Nutt, D. J., Roseman, L.
This open-label study (n=20) found that the quality of the psychedelic experience (10-25mg psilocybin, measured with the ASC - specifically oceanic boundlessness) predicted therapeutic effect (lower depression scores).
Psychological flexibility mediates the relations between acute psychedelic effects and subjective decreases in depression and anxiety
2020| Barrett, F. S., Davis, A. K., Griffiths, R. R.
This survey study (n=985) finds that psychological flexibility fully mediated the effects of mystical/peak experiences on depression/anxiety.
Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six-month follow-up
2017| Bloomfield, M., Bolstridge, M., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Curran, H. V., Day, C. M., Erritzoe, D., Feilding, A., Forbes, B., Giribaldi, B., Kaelen, M., Nutt, D. J., Pilling, S., Rickard, J. A., Rucker, J., Taylor, D., Watts, R.
This open-label study (n=20) expands on earlier work by Carhart-Harris and colleagues on the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Pilot study of psilocybin treatment for anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer
2010| Chopra, G. S., Danforth, A. L., Greer, G. R., Grob, C. S., Hagerty, M., Halberstadt, A. L., McKay, C. R.
This is the first (modern) double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=12) of psilocybin (14mg/70kg) for the treatment of (end-of-life) anxiety (and depression) related to cancer.
Perceived outcomes of psychedelic microdosing as self-managed therapies for mental and substance use disorders
2020| Amanda, N., Jungaberle, H., Lea, T., Schecke, H., Scherbaum, N.
This survey (n=1102) study found positive effects after microdosing psychedelics (44% reported 'much better' mental health), but was limited to self-reports.
Psychedelic Treatment for Trauma-Related Psychological and Cognitive Impairment Among US Special Operations Forces Veterans
2020| Amoroso, T., Averill, L. A., Barsuglia, J. P., Davis, A. K., Sepeda, N. D.
This survey study (n=51) found very large effects on mental health for special forces veterans after ibogaine and 5-MeO-DMT treatment.
Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
2017| Agin-Liebes, G. I., Belser, A. B., Bossis, A. P., Devenot, N., Friedman, H. L., Guss, J., Ross, S., Swift, T. C.
This qualitative analysis of experiences may help form new hypotheses on why a psychedelic experience works. Found is that participants experienced strong emotions, partly conveyed by music.
Increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarian political views after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2018| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Lyons, T.
A pilot study (n=14) on how psychedelics increase nature relatedness and decrease authoritarianism. Although the active participants (n=7, with treatment-resistant depression) increased on both, their final scores on those measures were very similar to that of the non-treated (non-depressed) group.
Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial
2016| Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W.
This study investigated the effects of a high dose of psilocybin on depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer. It found significant improvements, even without psychotherapy (as many other studies do provide).
Increased amygdala responses to emotional faces after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
2017| Carhart-Harris, R. L., Demetriou, L., Nutt, D. J., Roseman, L., Wall, M. B.
Psychedelics work differently than SSRIs and are hypothesized to treat the underlying disconnect with emotions, getting someone in touch with them again. This analysis of an open-label study (n=20) supports this argument with fMRI studies that showed increased amygdala responses to emotional stimuli.
Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study
2016| Bloomfield, M., Bolstridge, M., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Curran, H. V., Day, C. M., Feilding, A., Forbes, B., Kaelen, M., Nutt, D. J., Pilling, S., Rickard, J. A., Rucker, J., Taylor, D.
This is the first modern study (n=12) on psilocybin and its effects on treatment-resistant depression. It shows that two sessions with psilocybin (10mg and 25mg) in combination with psychological support can reduce depressive symptoms over periods of one week to three months after treatment. Psilocybin was well tolerated by all of the patients, and no serious or unexpected adverse events occurred.
Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized controlled trial
2016| Agin-Liebes, G. I., Babb, J., Belser, A. B., Bossis, A. P., Cohen, B., Corby, P., Guss, J., Kalliontzi, K., Malone, T., Mennenga, S. E., Ross, S., Schmidt, B. L., Su, Z.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=29) for those suffering from anxiety and depression, related to cancer, improved significantly (60-80% of participants) after a single dose of psilocybin (21mg/70kg) in combination with psychotherapy.
Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for psychiatric and existential distress in patients with life-threatening cancer
2020| Agin-Liebes, G. I., Bossis, A. P., Fischer, S., Grigsby, J., Guss, J., Malone, T., Mennenga, S. E., Ponté, K. L., Ross, S., Yalch, M. M.
This is a follow-up study (n=16) at an average of 3.8 years after a single dose of psilocybin, in combination with psychotherapy, for patients suffering from existential distress related to cancer. Approximately 60-80% of participants still experienced reduced anxiety or depressive symptoms. This adds to the body of research that indicates that the positive of a guided psychedelic experience can be long-lasting.
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.
This section highlights everything done outside of academia, from popular press to books and non academic research.