This review (2022) explores the potential of psychedelics in treating mental health disorders, their short- and long-term effects on recreational users, and the neurological and cognitive processes responsible for their effects using the most up to date research. The positive findings of psilocybin for depression (MDD) and anxiety are highlighted. The mystical experience (MEQ) also plays a large role, but individual differences (for whom does it work) are still not well examined.
This rodent study (2022) assessed the impact repeated high-dose exposure to MDMA has on markers of serotonin neurotransmission and if this is related to the sensitizing effects of MDMA. The results suggest that the sensitizing effects of MDMA are not due to changes in MDMA-produced synaptic overflow of serotonin but are more likely related to alterations in serotonin receptor mechanisms and/or dopamine neurotransmission.
This preprint (2022) describes the synthesis of 5-MeO-DMT from a cell line from tissue obtained from the parotoid gland (saliva) of the Sonoran Desert toad (Incilius alvarius). The samples were successfully tested for 5-MeO-DMT but may also contain other 'entourage' compounds. Such methods help to relieve ecological pressures due to the increasing demand for 5-MeO-DMT.
This theory-building paper (2022) describes the development and initial validation of the Integration Engagement Scale (IES) to capture positive behavioural engagement with integration and the Experienced Integration Scale (EIS) to capture internal aspects of feeling integrated following a psychedelic experience. The scales were designed to inform the creation of enhanced integration support and the initial data indicates the scales are valid and reliable.
This study (n=86) assessed the effects of six infusions of ketamine (35mg/70kg) over 2 weeks on suicidality in patients with depression. Next to the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery was also used. MADRS total score and processing speed (but not other cognitive domains) were significant partial mediators of the association between ketamine treatment and improvements in suicidal ideation.
This pre-print (2022) used open-ended interviews followed by thematic analysis to assess the perspective of patients (n=9) who underwent treatment with ayahuasca in the Takiwasi Center (rehabilitation centre). While the therapeutic effects are supported, the complexities are also discussed.
This animal study (2022) explored the effects of psilocybin and metformin (a drug used to manage blood sugar) in a rat model of obesity. In the low - not medium - and high dose psilocybin groups, a significant decrease in body weight was observed compared to controls. The metformin (type 2 diabetes medicine) group produced a greater decrease in body weight than either psilocybin group or the control. The medium dose psilocybin group was terminated from the study as they were incorrectly treated with the drug.
This paper (2022) by some of the most well-known authors in the field of psychedelics, reviews 42 studies where resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used and assessed methodological variations across studies. Nearly all studies varied in data processing and analysis methodology. Guidelines are proposed to ensure consistency across the field.
This survey study (n=980) assessed the perspectives of patients with functional neurological disorders (FND) (e.g. multiple sclerosis, stroke) on novel treatments like psychedelic therapoy. 15% of respondents reported using illicit substances to manage their symptoms, with the majority expereincing no or minimal physical and psychological sequale. 46% of respondents reported that they would be willing to try medically supervised psychedelic therapy.
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
This theory-building article (2022) proposes that the dream, hypnagogic and psychedelic states share common features that make them conducive to supporting some aspects of scientific creativity and examines the putative underlying neurophenomenological and cognitive processes involved. The psychedelic state may have the potential to enhance creativity as a result of phenomena like brain hyperconnectivity, meta-cognitive awareness and more.
This meta-analysis (2022) assessed the effects of psilocybin in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Despite achieving statistical significance in the reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms compared to controls in multiple subgroups, more trials need to be conducted with larger patient populations over longer periods.
Most participants reported using psychedelics with self-care intentions in ceremonial, recreational, or private settings. Self-perception and existential meaningfulness were identified as the main mechanisms of self-care.
This report (2022) explores the challenges and opportunities associated with evaluating psilocybin-facilitated psychotherapy (PAP) in vulnerable populations. The authors propose that working with vulnerable populations requires special attention to their context. Recommendations for future research include an emphasis on recruitment strategies, the appropriate communication and assessment of subjective effects, building a therapeutic alliance, multicultural competence, and flexible study designs.
This pre-print of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study (2022) evaluated the metabolism and clinical pharmacokinetics (how drugs are processed by the body) of DMT (SPL026) in an ongoing Phase I study with healthy subjects (n=24) by Small Pharma. Participants received escalating doses of SPL026 via a 2-phase intravenous (IV) infusion. SP206 was safe and well-tolerated, and dose-proportional increases in DMT exposure were observed over the range of 9–21.5 mg. For all doses, the median time to peak plasma concentration was ~10 min and the mean elimination half-life was 9–12 min.
This meta-analysis assessed the effects of ketamine administration in healthy participants (n=1,041) on several cognitive domains. Deficits in verbal learning/memory were most prominent, whereas response inhibition was the least affected. Negative effects were dependent on infusion dose and plasma level but unaffected by enantiomer type, route of administration, sex or age.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
This survey study (n=474) assessed participants' perception, potential usage, and recommendations for psychedelic drugs being used as a treatment for mental illnesses. Results show that participants were not open to their personal usage of psychedelics but were more open to recommending psychedelic therapy to their loved ones.
This case series includes patients (n=13) with hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and reviews the literature on HPPD. The most common symptoms in patients were visual snow, floaters, palinopsia, photophobia and nyctalopia while symptoms in the literature included visual hallucinations altered motion perception, palinopsia, tracers and colour enhancement. The authors draw parallels between HPPD and Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS), suggesting that the DSM-V criteria for HPPD should be revised to include additional symptoms.
This paper (2022) explores the concept of American socio-psychedelics imaginaries i.e., collective visions articulated and enacted to reintegrate psychedelics legally and responsibly into society. Four imaginaries are discussed including biomedicalization, decriminalization, legalization and sacramental imaginaries. These imaginaries diverge and converge around several politics: politics of access, politics of responsibility, politics of naming, politics of assimilation and social change, and politics of epistemic credibility.
This neuroimaging study (n=28) investigated the effects of LSD, d-amphetamine and MDMA on thalamocortical intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC). Each substance elicited auditory-sensorimotor-thalamic-hyperconnectivity compared to placebo, despite predominantly distinct pharmacological actions and subjective effects. LSD produced salience (SAL) hyperactivity whereas MDMA and amphetamine produced hypoconnectivity with SAL. This range of activity is similar to that seen in patients with psychotic disorders.
This study (2022) analysed 3,778 DMT experiences posted on the r/DMT Reddit to better understand the phenomenology of the DMT experience. Common themes that were identified include physical and somatic experiences, content of visualizations and imagery, entity encounters, structural characteristics, scenery of the “DMT world, emotional responses, and more.
This study used a sample from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (n=241,675) to assess if past-year psychedelic use is associated with reporting past-year serious psychological distress (SPD), major depressive episode (MDE), and suicidality. LSD was associated with an increased likelihood of MDE and suicidal thinking. MDMA use was associated with a decreased likelihood of SPD and suicidal thinking.
This survey (n=1,661) found that a higher number of lifetime uses of psychedelics predicted greater positive and lower negative emotional reactivity while measures of self-consciousness predicted greater reflection and internal state awareness, reduced rumination tendency and public self-consciousness. The intensity of past mystical and ego-dissolution experiences mediated almost all the observed relationships between the lifetime number of psychedelic uses and psychological variables.
This review (2022) explored results from neuroimaging studies with psilocybin. In studies with depressed patients, a decrease in amygdala activity and a reduction in depressive symptoms was observed while in healthy participants, changes in functional connectivity and activation of prefrontal limbic structures, specifically the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala were observed.
This study (2022) applied a non-linear dimensionality reduction technique previously used to map hierarchical connectivity gradients to assess cortical organization in the LSD and psilocybin state from two previously published pharmacological resting-state fMRI datasets. The principal gradient of cortical connectivity was significantly flattened under both drugs relative to their respective placebo conditions. This study is the first to show that macroscale connectivity gradients are sensitive to acute pharmacological manipulation.
This pre-print (n=106) investigated the association between hallucinogen use, macroscale brain structure, personality, cognitive ability, and illicit drug use in a naturalistic sample. Hallucinogen users scored higher on measures of openness to new experiences, and cognitive ability, and had a greater density of structural connectivity in white matter tracts that are thought to support cognition, emotion, and creativity.
This posthoc analysis of the TRANSFORM-2 trial assessed the effects of esketamine plus an oral antidepressant (AD) using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). The odds of improving in those treated with esketamine plus AD were at least two times greater than with placebo plus AD.
This chemistry study (2022) used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to study the composition of ayahuasca samples. For the first time, fructose was detected as a major component of the samples, while harmine was found to be present in the solids suspended in the beverage.
This study (2022) examines the group therapy model used in MDMA and LSD therapy in private practice in Switzerland. The majority of patients suffered from PTSD with psychedelic therapy addressing symptoms like regulation of emotions and impulses, negative self-perception, alterations in relationships with others, as well as meaning, recall, and processing of traumatic memories. MDMA was most often used in the first phase to enhance motivation to change while LSD was introduced to intensify and deepen the therapeutic process.
This review (2022) investigated the role of ketamine in suicidal ideation (SI) and behaviours. Of 27 studies that addressed ketamine for SI, only four reported mixed or negative results. Out of nine reviews, esketamine was significantly beneficial in five. Despite the majority of reviews being of critically low quality, the short-term efficacy of ketamine in suicidality was noted in most.
This study (n=108) used the data from three clinical trials where ketamine was used to treat treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or bipolar disorder (BD) to assess the interaction between hopelessness and psychological pain was associated with future suicidal ideation (SI). Psychological pain and hopelessness were not associated with SI in short-term or long-term analyses yet long-term analyses found that SI was associated with later psychological pain and hopelessness.
Journal of Affective Disorders
Cited by 0
Find Psychedelic Papers
Find all relevant psychedelic research papers in our ever-growing database. Here we cover and connect the latest research and seminal papers. From early open-label psychedelic studies with healthy volunteers to large-scale double-blind placebo-controlled trials.
We have not only indexed over 1400 papers, but have added additional contexts such as type of study, a compound studied, which paper it’s related to, the trial associated with a study, and over 30 more variables.
More coverage of psychedelic research can be found on our Research page.
Become a psychedelic insider!
With a free Blossom membership you will always be in the know.
📰 Weekly newsletter about the psychedelic research
✔️ Unlimited access to our database and original articles