A Study of Psilocybin for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential efficacy of a single 25 mg oral dose of psilocybin for MDD compared to the active placebo in otherwise medically-healthy participants, assessed as the difference between groups in changes in depressive symptoms from Baseline to Day 43 post-dose.

One hundred participants, ages 21 to 65, who meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) will be stratified by study site and randomized with a 1-to-1 allocation under double-blind conditions to receive a single 25 mg oral dose of psilocybin or a single 100 mg oral dose of niacin. Niacin will serve as an active placebo.

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Status Active, not recruiting
Start date 15 October 2019
End date 01 February 2021
Chance of happening 100%
Phase Phase II
Design Blinded
Type Interventional
Generation First
Participants 80
Sex All
Age 21- 65
Therapy No

Trial Details

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has become a health crisis of epidemic proportions in the modern world. One in six individuals in the United States will experience an episode of major depression in his or her lifetime, and it is estimated that major depression will rank second after cardiac disease as a cause of international medical morbidity by the year 2020. Depression is associated with greater disability than are most other chronic illnesses and is a risk factor for mortality. Additionally, depression predicts the later development of a number of medical conditions, including cardiac and cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, dementia, and cancer. Unfortunately, most patients with depression do not experience a complete resolution of symptoms with antidepressant treatment. Partial-but incomplete-response to antidepressants is associated with an increased risk of full symptomatic relapse (even when on therapy) and a worse long-term disease course. Combined with the high prevalence and significant disability associated with MDD, the fact that currently available treatments are not fully adequate highlights the tremendous need to identify novel treatment strategies. Data suggest that psilocybin may have behavioral effects relevant to the treatment of depression and recent studies also suggest that psilocybin may possess antidepressant properties. To further assess the effects of psilocybin on MDD signs and symptoms, this trial will enroll 100 participants, ages 21 to 65, who meet criteria for MDD. Participants will be stratified by study site and randomized with a 1-to-1 allocation under double-blind conditions to receive a single 25 mg oral dose of psilocybin or a single 100 mg oral dose of niacin. Niacin will serve as an active placebo. To enhance participant safety, a Set and Setting (SaS) protocol will be utilized similar to the protocol that has been used in all modern studies of psilocybin. The SaS protocol for this study includes: 1) a period of preparation with session Facilitators prior to dosing; 2) administration of study medications in an aesthetically pleasing room under the supervision of two Facilitators who are present throughout the session; and 3) three post-dose integration sessions during which participants are encouraged to discuss their intervention experience with the Facilitators. The SaS protocol will be identical for those randomized to psilocybin or active placebo. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the potential efficacy of a single 25 mg oral dose of psilocybin for MDD compared to the active placebo (niacin), assessed as the difference between groups in changes in depressive symptoms from Baseline to Day 43 post-dose.

NCT Number NCT03866174

Measures Used

Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale
A ten-item diagnostic questionnaire used to measure the severity of depressive symptoms in patients with mood disorders.

Sheehan Disability Scale
The Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) is a brief self-report measure developed to assess impairment in three inter-related domains; work/school, social life and family life.

Data attribution

A large set of the trials in our database are sourced from ClinicalTrials.gov (CTG). We have modified these post to display the information in a more clear format or to correct spelling mistakes. Our database in actively updated and may show a different status (e.g. completed) if we have knowledge of this update (e.g. a published paper on the study) which isn't reflected yet on CTG. If a trial is not sourced from CTG, this is indicated on this page and you can follow the link to the alternative source of information.
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